3 replacements for Brett Gardner if his team option isn’t picked up
1. Joc Pederson
The Yankees could stand to benefit a ton from adding Joc Pederson.
Yup, we’ve already talked about this, but here we are again. Joc Pederson likely falls under the “multi-year, higher-priced but will move the needle” category in this free agency game show, but it’d 100% be worth it for the Yankees to invest.
He’s not a contact bat and he’s not a Gold Glover, but the man performs on the big stage, is totally fine platooning, and has incredible power to all parts of the field. The short porch in Yankee Stadium will almost seem like a cheat code if he comes to New York.
Pederson has been a fixture in this Dodger lineup for quite some time, having been exposed to playoff action since 2015. The 28-year-old is slashing .272/.345/.503 with 25 runs scored, nine home runs and 20 RBI in 63 career postseason games, most of which he served as a part-time player. He produces when he’s called upon. Plain and simple.
That’s a trait the Yankees are desperate for considering we’ve seen the offense go radio silent in October, and for reasons unknown. Pederson has the energy and confidence to pick up his team when they’re not performing, or he’s a luxury that will pile it on the opponent when the offense is humming. Having him as the team’s fourth outfielder almost seems unfair.
Look what the Dodgers are doing! They have Cody Bellinger, Mookie Betts and AJ Pollock as the starters and unleash Pederson where they see fit. Sure, Pederson might want an extended role, but throw him into the mix with Aaron Judge, Aaron Hicks and Clint Frazier, and this unit won’t miss a beat, even if they do suffer an injury.
Just something to think about.