Yankees: Brett Gardner Signing Now Official

The Yankees made it official: Brett Gardner is back, four weeks after the two parties came to their initial agreement. They were not, as it happens, waiting for a J.A. Happ trade. (Or, if they were waiting, they decided not to wait any longer. Who knows!) It’s a one-year, $12.5 million deal with a $10 million option for 2021.

According to the team, the Yankees designated Stephen Tarpley for assignment to make room for Brett Gardner:

Gardner, of course, is coming off a career year in which he hit .251/.325/.503 (115 wRC+) with 28 home runs. It was the offensive year of his career by far despite a slow start. I wrote about his year in our season review series, which you can find here.

As for Tarpley, I can’t say I’m too surprised to see him be the corresponding move here. The 26-year-old lefty struggled in the Bronx last season, pitching to a 6.93 ERA (5.69 FIP) in 24.2 innings. In two years with the Yanks, he owned a 5.88 ERA (4.77 ERA) in 33.2 innings. Wherever he ends up now — possibly even in the Yankees MiLB system — we here at Views wish you well, Stephen.


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  1. Mungo

    Welcome back to Brett the Jet, even if the jet is a bit slower. He’s still good.

  2. netwreck5@gmail.com

    Fungible: Tarpley.

  3. MikeD

    A month is a long time to complete a standard contract. I suspect the Yankees were still playing a bit of a delay game, most assuredly while keeping Gardner up to date, with Cashman using the time to gauge interest in the market. With Tarpley DFA’d, Cashman already knows his value and which teams are interested, so he’ll cut a very minor deal. I suppose it’s possible he slips through. Lefty-only relievers are not as valuable now with the three-batter minimum rule.

    As for Gardy, he clocks in with 3-4 WAR seasons with metronomic consistency. His ability to play CF is critical to the team since Hicks (and Ellsbury before) keep getting injured. That’s a problem. The Yankees will need to develop a longer-term solution for CF because Father Time will eventually tell Brett his time has arrived. I like Hicks, he’s strong when he’s out there, but he’s not out there enough. He likely moves into a rotational OFer role in the next year or two, handling all three OF positions well, but that means they need another CFer. No indication the Yankees believe Tauchman is a CFer. Frazier? Let us know when he can catch a ball. The bat’s still intriguing, the glove, yikes.

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