Yankees: Brett Gardner’s 2021 Option More Valuable With Shortened Season

Brett Gardner of the New York Yankees letting loose. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Brett Gardner of the New York Yankees letting loose. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

Brett Gardner has a club option for 2021 that the Yankees will now likely exercise.

When the New York Yankees signed Brett Gardner this offseason (already back in December!) to a one-year, $12.5 million deal with a club option for 2021, many fans assumed this was his curtain call in the Bronx. After all, the team’s stacked outfield depth chart features Gardner, Aaron Judge, Aaron Hicks, Giancarlo Stanton (when called upon), Mike Tauchman, Miguel Andujar (he’ll be moving around), and Clint Frazier.

What would Gardy be needed for in 2021? All the aforementioned players are under contract for the foreseeable future and there seems to be little need to take on another $10 million salary for a position of surplus when Brian Cashman is going to have to spend on pitching.

But now that we’re likely looking at an 82-game campaign, Gardy’s value is skyrocketing. He’ll be even more fresh for 2021, plus we don’t know what to expect out of Hicks, Judge and Stanton — all of whom are recovering from injuries at the moment, with Judge’s coming along particularly slowly.

What the Yankees need more than ever is stability (and experience), and Gardner is a rock. At this point, there’s no need to be concerned he’ll be entering his age-37 season in 2021. The man has played in at least 140 games in nine of the last 10 seasons and witnessed career-highs in home runs (28), RBI (74) and OPS (.829) in 2019. Extra pop and bodies on the bench are never a bad thing, and when it comes at a $10 million price tag, the Yankees can make it work — and if there’s any concern, Aaron Boone has proven time and time again he can fit players into the lineup and maximize their potential.

Next. Potential 2021 Roster Moves. dark

All told, Yankee fans should buy stock in Gardner for 2021 because the circumstances surrounding the present are already playing a role in the future.