Brett Gardner will now likely finish his MLB career with the only team he’s ever known.
The #Yankees and Brett Gardner have agreed on a deal pending physical, etc, according to a source.
— Ken Davidoff (@KenDavidoff) February 19, 2021
Additionally, multiple sources report the deal also includes a second-year option and buyouts. Gardner played in 49 games in the shortened 2020 season and hit five home runs with 15 RBI. He only hit .223, but still had an impressive .354 OBP.
In 2019, his age-35 season, he set career highs with 28 home runs and 74 RBI. Now, his teammates can look forward to at least one more year of his leadership in the clubhouse.
Brett Gardner is back and it’s the best news Yankees fans have had all week. Even if he’s now the fourth outfielder while Clint Frazier starts in left field, count on Gardner to get more than a few at-bats.
Even though he’s 37 years old now and doesn’t quite have the same bat speed, Gardner still has value. He still has strong at-bats and consistently sees more than four pitches per plate appearance. Even though his speed isn’t quite what it was in his prime, he still plays good defense in the outfield and has a career DRS of 139.
Now, the Yankees have some hard decisions to make. Mike Tauchman is still on the roster, as is non-roster invitee Jay Bruce. Both figured to compete for the fourth outfielder’s role, but that changes with Brett Gardner back in the fold. Even if he struggles in the spring, his leadership alone almost guarantees him a roster spot.
Whether that means Tauchman and other reserves are on the chopping block remains to be seen, but make no mistake. Brett Gardner is back in the Yankee locker room, and he’s not resting until he gets another World Series ring.