For rival general managers, the chances of landing New York Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner through free agency took a dramatic hit today. Those chances are now a big old zero as the Yankees locked up the outfielder with a four-year, $52MM extension. There is an option for a fifth year at $12.5MM with a $2MM buyout. This is according to Jack Curry of the YES Network. Curry also tweets that finalizing the language is all that remains for this to be completely done.
One aspect of this deal is that is does not contain a no-trade clause. Curry states Gardner had requested one, but the Yankees “didn’t want to do it”.
It is important to note that this extension will not kick in until next season. Gardner will earn $5.6MM for 2014 as he inked a deal in mid-January in order to avoid arbitration. When the extension kicks in, Gardner will
Last season, Gardner served as the Yankees center fielder, but with the signing of Jacoby Ellsbury, he will move back to left field. That certainly won’t hinder the Yankees defensively as Gardner possesses a pair of Fielding Bible awards as baseball’s best defensive left fielder.
For his career, Gardner owns a .268 batting average and .352 on-base percentage. He adds 161 career steals in 199 attempts (80.9%).
This extension surely removes the name Brett Gardner name from any trade speculation. He had been mentioned in regards to a couple of trade rumors as the Pinstripes were rumored to be looking to add a starting pitcher. With the signing of Masahiro Tanaka, that need was met.
Curry tweeted that Yankees GM Brian Cashman had met with Gardner’s rep during the winter meetings, so there club was obviously showing they held a significant and specific value in Gardner. This extension merely cements that.