Report: Yankees decline Brett Gardner’s 2021 option

The longest tenured Yankee is about to hit the open market. Possibly not for long, though. The Yankees and Brett Gardner have played the same song and dance over the past few seasons, and even though the team has passed on his $10 million option for 2021, there’s a very good chance he returns next season at a lesser salary. For now, the team has to pay Gardy a $2.5 million buyout.

Gardner hit .223/.354/.392 (110 wRC+) in 158 plate appearances this season. The vast majority of that production came in September as he entered the final month of the regular season with a .169/.302/.338 (80 wRC+) line. Just like seemingly every year for the past three or four seasons, once you thought Gardner was left for dead, he came back to life.

Now, should the Yankees bring back Gardner next season? I’d be OK with it as long as it’s in a fourth or fifth outfielder role. Really, I’d like to have Gardy take over Mike Tauchman’s position on the roster. That would put Clint Frazier in left field as the starter and another open backup outfield position ahead of Gardner on the depth chart. We’ll see.

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4 Comments

  1. Christian Nordbek

    I salute you Brett Gardner, but it’s time to move on from a Yankee perspective.

  2. Alex

    I don’t really see any reason to bring Gardner back unless Hal is willing to up payroll to account for all of the holes on this team (starting pitching, catcher, bullpen and infield depth, etc.). He’s just unnecessary especially when Brantley (who should be the significantly preferred option) will be out there and you could fill his backup OF spot out for cheap. Besides, Clint’s earned the job in LF.

    • MikeD

      Who is your centerfielder for the 50 games Hicks isn’t out there? It’s not Tauchman. It’s clear they don’t view him capable, and frankly he should be cut. He wasn’t particularly good at hitting or fielding in 2020. 2019 was a fluke. MLB pitchers discovered he can’t handle velocity. Clint, meanwhile, can’t play CF. Stanton? Ha. Judge? He can’t stay healthy in RF. Free agents? I’d like to sign Brantley, but he can barely play an acceptable LF, let alone CF. Pederson played CF a few years back, but he was moved from there for a reason. He’s passable at the corners, but not much more.

      Asking a legit question to those who want to “move on” from Gardner. Figuring a 26-man roster, who do you have out there we can fit within the luxury tax budget?

      • Alex

        There will be a record amount of quality outfielders who get non-tendered this offseason. With the market looking like the way it is, many of them will have to end up taking spring training invite/minor league deals. I’d rather take shots on them for what will be the cost of nothing than pay Gardner anything next season. If Hal wants to exceed the top tier of the luxury tax and address actual team needs first and foremost, then by all needs give Gardner a couple million to return. But if there’s going to be some mandated spending limit put in place, then you put that on the back burner. Gardner didn’t have any market after his juiced ball propelled 2019 season and he certainly won’t have one after this past season. Out of the many needs on this team, 4th outfielder doesn’t come first. Especially if that 4th outfielder isn’t a plus hitter like Brantley. Also, if you think Tauchman’s 2019 was a fluke then why wasn’t Gardners? He was bad in the 2019 postseason once the juiced ball was taken out of play then had a horrible season outside of basically the last two weeks of September.

        Love the guy but like I said, it’s time to move on from him.

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