Yankees Rumors: Are they moving closer to a deal with Brett Gardner?


While the Yankees continue their pursuit of free-agent ace Gerrit Cole the team has reportedly stayed in contact with OF Brett Gardner about a potential reunion. With the Winter Meetings set to begin on Sunday, it seems like it’s only a matter of time before Gardy agrees to a deal to return to New York.

The Yankees are the only organization Brett Gardner has ever played for and that’s likely not going to change anytime soon. Bringing him back for a 13th season in pinstripes makes all the sense in the world especially with Aaron Hicks expected to miss a large chunk of the 2020 season recovering from Tommy John surgery.

Even at 36 years-old, Gardner proved last season that he’s still a very productive player and has a lot left in the tank. After a down year in 2018, Gardy bounced back in a big way by hitting .251 with a career-high 28 HR, 74 RBI and an OPS of .829. He’s not only a big contributor on the field but he’s also one of the main leaders in the Yankees clubhouse and the importance of that can’t be understated now that CC Sabathia is retired and Didi Gregorius is a free agent.

According to Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the Yanks recently made an offer to Gardy and continue to have talks.

As Heyman noted it’s hard to imagine the Yankees not bringing him back but the timetable for an agreement could be delayed until Gerrit Cole makes his free-agent decision. The Yanks are reportedly all in on Cole and team ownership has given the front office their approval to offer him a record-breaking contract.

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Cole could be offered a contract worth over $280M so the Yankees likely aren’t going to be making any other free agent signings until they know where he stands. I’m sure Gardy knows that and will be more than willing to wait things out before agreeing to a deal to return in 2020.

Once the dust settles with Cole (or Strasburg) it will be interesting to see what kind of contract the Yankees offer Gardner. Last year they brought him back on a one-year deal for $7.5M and he was worth every penny and then some. I don’t think they’ll offer him a two-year deal this time around, but he should be able to earn a nice pay raise. Another one-year deal worth at up to $10M is a fair offer and one I can’t see Gardy turning down.

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We all know he doesn’t want to go anywhere and the Yankees need him back to provide some speed and left-handed pop in the lineup and to patrol center field until Hicks returns. After that, he’ll go back to left field where he could end up sharing playing time with Mike Tauchman. Whatever his role is he’ll continue to make a big impact on and off the field.