File this one under the “wrapping things up” portion of the offseason. Now that the Yankees have re-signed DJ LeMahieu, brought on Corey Kluber, and traded for Jameson Taillon, it is time to make a few final tweaks to the roster. As expected, that means rekindling the old flame with Brett Gardner, the team’s longest-tenured player. Jack Curry says that is already underway:
Gardner, who will turn 38 this year, hit .223/.354/.392 (110 wRC+), with a much stronger second half of the season, in 2020. While I quibble with Curry’s claim that Gardner can play “all 3 OF spots”, he is a versatile player who, in my view, belongs on the team.
Like Curry, I think this will work out sooner rather than later. (Especially because it’s Curry, perhaps the best well-sourced Yankee reporter, is the one telling us this.) All that’s left is to see the terms of the deal.
Remember, Brett earned $10 million in 2020 and had a $2.5 million buyout for 2021 after the Yanks declined his 2021 option. I expect, if a reunion does happen, that it’ll be for a much smaller salary than $10 million. Maybe a $5 million base salary so he earns $7.5 million total? No idea, but the Yanks aren’t looking to break the bank. We do know that.
No matter, though. Brett’s earned $85 million in his career, so I’m willing to bet he’ll take a hometown discount to try and win one for the road.