Yankees, Brett Gardner agree to one-year, $12.5M deal

The New York Yankees are bringing back outfielder Brett Gardner, who agreed to a one-year deal worth up to $12.5 million.

After reeling in the big fish of Gerrit Cole this week to a record-breaking contract, the New York Yankees aren’t done. Now that they have their ace, the Yankees reportedly are bringing back veteran outfielder Brett Gardner on a one-year deal.

There was mutual interest for Gardner to return since the offseason started. Currently the longest-tenured Yankee, Gardner has agreed to a one-year deal worth $12.5 million, per George King of The New York Post. There is also a second-year option for $10 million in 2021.

Though there are conflicting reports on the second-year option, Gardner is coming back. The $12.5 million deal is a significant upgrade from the $7.5 million deal he got before the 2019 season. With his consistency and versatility in the outfield, the Yankees are giving a solid pay day.

Despite entering the 2019 season holding a reserve role, Gardner became a mainstay in the outfield. He wound up playing 141 games while slashing .251/.325/.503 with a career-high 28 home runs and 74 RBIs. The 117 OPS+ he recorded was the second-highest of his career. There is no doubt that Gardner had a career year in 2019, but hopefully he can even attempt to replicate half of this production next season.

The Yankees are likely to be without Aaron Hicks for the majority of the 2020 season after he underwent Tommy John surgery. This left them needing a centerfielder to fill in. Mike Tauchman emerged as a candidate given his strong play in 2019, but Gardner was the veteran they wanted to bring in all along.

Now, the longest-tenured Yankee on the roster is back for another season in 2020 and potentially even another one after that.

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