Yankees: 2021 Free Agent Replacements for Brett Gardner

New York Yankees stalwart Brett Gardner (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
New York Yankees stalwart Brett Gardner (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) /
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2. Yankees Target: Kiké Hernandez

Yankees target
Los Angeles Dodgers OF Kiké Hernandez (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images) /

The playoff spark plug known as Kiké Hernandez could be a great fit for the New York Yankees.

Kiké Hernandez, the same age as Pederson, could be subject to the same outfield logjam that’s sliced into his counterpart’s future playing time.

Hernandez hit 17 homers and knocked in 64 runs last season while finding 414 at-bats among plenty of talented hitters in likely the best offense in baseball. He’s likely best known for the 2017 NLCS against the Cubs, when he swatted a trio of homers in only nine at-bats, hitting .444 and solidly vanquishing Chicago’s repeat bid. Not bad for a waifish fourth-outfield type, huh?

Hernandez can do it all, which could be beneficial for an outfield that’s theoretically full (and with Clint Frazier lurking behind them). He’s played all three outfield positions extensively, and even found himself at third, second, and short, doing everything he could to capture playing time with LAD. Say what you will about Brett Gardner, but I’m fairly confident he wouldn’t take kindly to being penciled in at second base, and if it ever happened, it might look a lot like Jorge Posada’s famed late-game stint at the position several years back.

Additionally, for what it’s worth, Hernandez appears to be a fantastic and well-liked clubhouse guy. He’s the cheapest option on the board here, and there’s definitely a role for him to fill in the Bronx, if he so chooses.