3 replacements for Brett Gardner if his team option isn’t picked up

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Nick Markakis #22 of the Atlanta Braves (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Nick Markakis #22 of the Atlanta Braves (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /

2. Nick Markakis

The Yankees could use a lefty bat in Nick Markakis.

A corner outfielder who plays solid defense, hits for average, and is a lefty? That would be former Baltimore Oriole Nick Markakis, who will be a free agenct again after another year with the Atlanta Braves.

You very much remember Markakis during his days with the O’s. The man is as durable as they come (he’s only played in fewer than 147 games in a single season just once across his 15-year career) and he has plenty of experience on winning teams. On top of that, he’s hit .288 with a .781 OPS for his career. That’ll play near the bottom of the Bombers’ lineup.

His nine years of experience in the AL East will help out a lot too. New York figures to be doing battle with the Tampa Bay Rays and Toronto Blue Jays for years to come, and we know the Red Sox and Orioles always give the Yanks trouble no matter how bad they are. Give us another guy who will be in familiar territory with these opponents.

Though Markakis is getting up there in age (2021 will be his age-37 campaign), he’s proven to benefit from a stacked offense around him. He’s hit .283 with the Braves over the last six seasons and was an All-Star, Gold Glover and Silver Slugger in 2018. There’s plenty of gas left in the tank, and he’d likely be even better in a reduced role instead of having to grind through 150-plus games.

All the man needs is a World Series ring to cap off his very successful MLB career. The Yankees give him a good chance to do that.