What’s on the New York Yankees post-MLB lockout to-do list?

Jul 12, 2020; Bronx, New York, United States; A view of the New York Yankees logo and seat number of an empty seat during a simulated game during summer camp workouts at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 12, 2020; Bronx, New York, United States; A view of the New York Yankees logo and seat number of an empty seat during a simulated game during summer camp workouts at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports /
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New York Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner
Oct 5, 2021; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; New York Yankees center fielder Brett Gardner (11) catches the fly ball hit by Boston Red Sox designated hitter Kyle Schwarber (18) during the first inning of the American League Wildcard game at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports /

The New York Yankees need to find a center fielder

Brett Gardner did not have a great season in 2021 for the New York Yankees. He did improve as the season progressed (.261/.351/.441 slash line in his final 53 games) but he hit .222/.327/.362 on the season.

Gardner, 38, has also seen his defense slip in recent years so he shouldn’t be the center fielder but when you have tons of corner outfielders (Judge, Stanton, Gallo, formerly Clint Frazier, Miguel Andujar, etc.), Gardner plays center.

Gardner also played center a lot because Aaron Hicks was injured. He should be back for the start of the season but Hicks often falls into the “three true outcomes” area too.

In 2020, Hicks had three true outcomes 40.3 percent of the time and in 2019, it was 45 percent. Additionally, Hicks is never healthy. In the last four non-pandemic seasons, he has averaged just 79 games a year. He has played more than 88 games in a season in once since 2016 as he played in 137 games in 2018.

The Yankees already have enough injury prone players so they need to find a durable center fielder for the future.

The Yankees could go on the free agent market where Kevin Pillar is the best remaining center fielder but a trade would be more beneficial for them.