According to the New York Post’s George King, the Yankees have re-signed Brett Gardner to a one year deal with an option for 2020. MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch has confirmed and has the correct contract details:
Can confirm that the Yankees and Brett Gardner have agreed to a one-year, $12.5 million deal. There is an option for 2021 option that is valued at $10 million (not $20M).— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) December 12, 2019
Based on the way this is worded, it seems like Gardner’s salary will be $10 million in 2020. For 2021, the Yankees can either pick up a $10 million option or pay a $2.5 million buyout, hence the overall $12.5 million guarantee.
This move was expected. In fact, it was a little surprising it didn’t happen sooner. Last year, Gardner re-signed very quickly once the offseason began. This winter, it seems like the Yankees were waiting for the Gerrit Cole news to wrap up.
Gardy is coming off a career year in terms of power (who isn’t?). He set career highs in homers (28), slugging percentage (.503), and isolated power (.253). Gardner also played his usual stellar defense, playing more center field than usual with Aaron Hicks out (which will happen again next season, of course). For a more detailed recap of Gardner’s season, go read Bobby’s season review.
With Gardner (and Cole!) in tow, the Yankees will need to clear two spots on the 40-man roster once the deals become official. Perhaps we see a JA Happ salary dump to clear room as one. The other spot could be a trade or a straight DFA of someone like Stephen Tarpley or Chance Adams.