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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1. Yankees Target: Michael Brantley

Yankees target
Houston Astros OF Michael Brantley (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Michael Brantley has always been a perfect New York Yankees target.

We’re not sure why every MLB team twiddled their thumbs, allowing Michael Brantley to join the Houston Astros lineup last offseason and balance it all out, but we’d like to rectify that issue next offseason.

Brantley’s always been a perfect Yankee — steady with the bat, composed, and surprisingly powerful when he uncoils. He doesn’t provide the same versatility as Gardner, but his bat is a level above, and he’ll likely come for just as cheap a price at an advanced age (he’s turning 34 before the start of 2021).

All he does is hit and work the count, accruing a .311 average and 22 homers last season for Houston in his third straight All-Star campaign. If they splurge for Brantley, New York would be adding a true workhorse in the mold of the ’90s dynasty to their already-gilded roster.

This would be a power play for the Yankees, but if not now, when? Brantley wasn’t on the 2017 Astros, and is too beautiful for that decrepit world (thanks for coming home, Gerrit Cole). New York has a chance to undo a mistake that never should’ve happened next offseason.