Yankees: 2021 Free Agent Replacements for Brett Gardner
By Adam Weinrib
The New York Yankees might have to replace Brett Gardner with a free agent after 2020.
After the 2020 season concludes (on, like, March 28, 2021, I assume), Brett Gardner will once again be a free agent, as he is every year. If the Yankees’ quest for glory comes up short (or if he’d rather end his career with a full season), odds are Gardner will come back on another team-friendly deal.
But, if the circumstances are different, there’s a good chance Gardy peacefully rides off into the sunset, leaving the Yankees in a bind where they must now replace his versatile production and personality void.
If the NYY find themselves needing someone else who can bang in 2021, here’s who they should call.
4. Yankees Target: Joc Pederson
The New York Yankees could target Joc Pederson after 2020.
With all of his superior lefty pop, it’s sort of a wonder the Yankees haven’t already aggressively pursued Joc Pederson. After all, he was readily available this past offseason, and was nearly dealt to the Angels before the Mookie Betts trade spiked that deal (remember the Betts trade?!).
Pederson, a 28-year-old LF who may morph into a DH type as he ages, destroyed 36 homers last year and has never hit fewer than 25 in a full season with the LAD. On top of that, he’s had averages hovering around .250…much like Gardner. Pederson’s like Gardner with decreased speed and assured pop (rather than confusing “How did he do that?” power).
We hate to judge based on his final act with the Dodgers, but it seems as if his time there is running short. Always looking for an infusion of lefty power, the Yankees can find a way to use Pederson’s bat.