Yankees, Gardner Avoid Arbitration

The Yankees and Brett Gardner have avoided arbitration, agreeing to a one-year deal, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com tweets. The Pro Star Management client will earn $2.8MM in 2012, the midpoint between his asking price of $3.2MM and the Yankee's offer of $2.4MM.

Gardner was arbitration eligible for the first time this offseason after posting a .259/.345/.369 line in 2011. The 28-year-old led the American League with 49 stolen bases last year. As MLBTR's Arbitration Tracker shows, Boone Logan and Russell Martin are the Yankees' remaining unsigned arbitration eligible players.

89 Responses to Yankees, Gardner Avoid Arbitration Leave a Reply

  1. Gardner at 2.8MM? Steeeeeeeeal.

  2. Michael Kenny Jr. 4 years ago

    Most underpaid player in baseball. Maybe more so than Longoria. Wow.

    • Seriously. He has the best UZR/150 in baseball. And he’s only getting 2.8MM. Anyone who says defense isn’t still underrated is crazy.

      • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

        a very similar player in carl crawford got a 7/140 contract last year

        brett gardner’s 1st-year arb salary after a mediocre offensive season isn’t strong evidence that defense is underrated

        • He wasn’t mediocre. He was above average. He gets on base, and steals a lot of bags. He doesn’t hit .300 or hit 30 home runs, but he’s not mediocre.

          • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

            read carefully, white knight. the season was mediocre offensively, not the player

            and it was. both by league standards (3% above average) and brett gardner standards (17% below his prior performance)

          • Do you know what mediocre means? It means below average. So if he was 3% above league average, how is that mediocre?

          • PennMariner 4 years ago

            On the contrary, mediocre technically means middling or ordinary.

            This isn’t to say that I think Brett Gardner had a mediocre 2011, though.

          • I’ve seen definitions on both. But let’s say that it is average. He is 3% above average. Therefore, he is not mediocre.

          • Tko11 4 years ago

            3%!!! Either way does it really matter? To each his own. 

          • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

            “Do you know what mediocre means? It means below average”


          • Guest 4 years ago

            Stop. This is not one of your better arguments. 

          • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

            you are a contra-inidicator

          • Guest 4 years ago

            I’ve always favored interlocutor. 

          • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

            mediocre as i (and most dictionaries) use it means average. and that’s what a 103 wRC+ is

            unless you’re talking about corner outfielders like brett gardner. in that case, a 103 wRC+ is decidedly below average

            same thing happens if you’re talking about 2011 gardner compared to 2010 gardner. as mentioned, 2011 was much worse than his first full season the year before

            there’s just no reason to call his 2011 offense “above average”. it wasn’t. it was (wait for it…) mediocre

          • Above average OBP, above average in stolen bases, and above average in hits. He isn’t a power guy, I understand that. But he is a good offensive player.

          • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

            changing the subject again. i already told you once this wasn’t about the player, but about the season. i am openly a huge fan of brett gardner. no one is attacking your baby angel. this conversation was about the market value of defense

            wRC incorporates all of the stats you just named as well as the ones you left out

    • aricollins 4 years ago

      No one is more underpaid than Longoria.

      12:$4.5M, 13:$6M, 14:$7.5M club option ($3M buyout), 15:$11M club option, 16:$11.5M club option 

  3. Best defensive player in baseball. Great base stealer. Gets on base. Still continuing to improve. Second best LFer in baseball. Great deal.

    • $17867741 4 years ago

      This question might look dumb on my behalf, but why does Brett Gardner play LF? Shouldn’t Gardner move to CF and have Granderson move to LF?

      • Sometimes I think he should. But it doesn’t really matter. Don’t fix what isn’t broken.

      • 2001morecowbell2001 4 years ago

        Granderson makes some pretty spectucalar/web gem-esque plays in center himself. Tough position for the yanks to have two amazing center fielders patrolling the OF.

    • Tko11 4 years ago

      Second best? Braun, Gordon, Holliday, Cargo, Hamilton are all easily better. There are also a few other guys you can make an argument for. Gardner is no the second best left fielder. 

      • 2011: Gardner was #3 http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=lf&stats=bat&lg=all&qual=y&type=8&season=2011&month=0&season1=2011&ind=0&team=0&rost=0&players=0

        2010-11: Gardner was #4 http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=lf&stats=bat&lg=all&qual=y&type=8&season=2011&month=0&season1=2010&ind=0&team=0&rost=0&players=0
        I don’t know about that “easily better” part.  

        • Tko11 4 years ago

          Ok… so you are telling me you will take Gardner over all those guys I mentioned? And if thats not what you are telling me then he is at least the 6th best. 

          • no but hes telling you by the numbers he was ranked 3rd..id take most of those guys over him on my own team…

          • Tko11 4 years ago

            Ok in that case the list is irrelevant…He could be first on a list for all I care hes not better than Braun, Holliday and a few other left fielders. He is also not the 4th best outfielder. 

          • Tko11 4 years ago

            Ok in that case the list is irrelevant…He could be first on a list for all I care hes not better than Braun, Holliday and a few other left fielders. He is also not the 4th best outfielder. 

  4. Guest 4 years ago

    Carl Crawford $19.5mm 

    Bret Gardner $2.8mm + Curtis Granderson $10mm + Nick Swisher $10.25mm = $23.05mm  

    • Best outfield in baseball.

      • Chris Barrows 4 years ago

        Wouldn’t go that far – it’s a solid outfield, but not the best. 

        • I can’t find one that’s better.

        • Guest 4 years ago

          actually, technically, I think it was in 2011. Obessions made some pretty good comments on this about 1 month ago and I can’t remember, perhaps the D-Backs? were tied with the Yanks as top outfield for the season.

          • I was thinking D’Backs. But the only upgrade they have over the Yankees is in RF. The Yankees have a better CFer and LFer.

          • Guest 4 years ago

            Yep. Agreed. Upton is a monster. 

          • It’s gonna be nice to see him in pinstripes in a few years, lol. I sure hope so.

          • Guest 4 years ago

            Funny you say that. After the Montero trade, his name was immediately the first name I thought of to fill the void in a few years. Mason Williams should be ready by then and he’s another phenomenal prospect.

            It could be Gardner (LF), Williams CF), Upton (RF) in 2014.

            Getting a bit ahead of myself, but nice to dream up. 

          • Imagine that outfield! I love Williams. That would be the quickest outfield in baseball. It would greatly benefit the pitchers, too. And Upton is still young. What is he, 24?

          • slider32 4 years ago

            The Yanks outfield will be different in 2014 to get under the 189 million cap. I think they will keep Gardner and move him to center. Williams might be in RF with some other low cost player in LF. The Yanks can’t keep Grandy and Swisher and sign either Cain or Hamels.

          • Well, Swisher will be gone, but I expect Granderson to stay. Granderson, Gardner, and Williams. A great outfield assuming Williams pans out.

          • slider32 4 years ago

            That won’t put them under 189 million cap, unless they don’t sign Hamels or Cain.

          • Chris Barrows 4 years ago

            Def. count Swisher gone. I know he’s love in the lockerroom, but his salary means he’s gone.

    • Chris Barrows 4 years ago

      Great comparison 

    • aricollins 4 years ago

      Ooh, this is fun:

      Alex Rodriguez $29MM

      Kevin Youkilis $12MM + Dustin Pedroia $8MM + Marco Scutaro $6MM + Jared Saltalamacchia $2.5MM = $28.5MM

      • If A-Rod can stay healthy next year (which I think he will), I wouldn’t be surprised to see him hit .290/35/125. He has proven he can still produce when he’s on the field, he’s just never on it.

      • Guest 4 years ago

        That’s not a great response. I was going by total cost and production for an area of the field. You left off Gonzalez, which fails to counter my argument. Plus I was more so showing an exceptional return based on cost. If you really want to get into it, Pedroia is the only reason it’s close. He’s being paid less than half of his real value. Scutaro and Salty suck. And I don’t want to hear any argument about Salty. I don’t know who brainwashed Red Sox fans after all this time that the guy is actually going to be good. Every time the Yanks and Sox played, he looked horrible at the plate and behind the plate. Apparently “his good games” were played elsewhere. While $2.5mm is fine for him. It’s neither an overpay and certainly not an underpay. 

        • aricollins 4 years ago

          Sure, your players were the entire OF. But mine were all in the infield, and, what’s more, it took more of them to match A-Rod’s salary. If you wanted to make it the entire Boston infield, sure, add Gonzalez. Then it will take a whole TWO of New York’s five infielders to match it.

          Also, sorry, but just because they’re not as criminally underpaid as Pedroia doesn’t mean Youkilis, Scutaro, and Salty aren’t also severely underpaid. As to their quality, I’ll take the actual facts over your memory of when they played your hometown team, thanks.

          Salty: 2.5 WAR last year, earning $2.5MM this year
          Scutaro: 2.9 WAR last year, $6MM this year
          Youkilis 3.7 WAR last year, being paid $12MM this year

          That’s 9 wins for $20MM, less than half the price on the FA market.

          (And, of course, they probably project to a bit better than they performed last year.)

          • It took more because you took an underpaid Pedroia, and had four players when he had only three.

          • aricollins 4 years ago

            … Right. It took four Boston infielders to approach A-Rod’s salary, while it “only” took three Yankee outfielders to approach Crawford’s salary.

          • JacobyWanKenobi 4 years ago

            Look at it like this:


            Crawford 7/142

            Lackey 5/82.5

            Matsuzaka 6/52 + Posting

            Gonzalez 7/154


            Rodriguez 10/275

            Soriano 3/35

            Burnett 5/82.5

            Texiera 8/$180


            Crawford is young still, and can bounce back, which he should do barring injury.

            Lackey and Burnett is a matter of preference. Would you rather have the guy on the field getting blown up, or pay him to be hurt and not throw at all. In this case, the Sox got a little of both (or a lot), while the Yanks get the former + mental trauma and a high OBP (Oshat Blood Pressure)

            Gonzo and Tex are both amazing at 1B. One may say Tex’s average and K’s aren’t good enough, but fact is, he doesn’t hit singles (check his hits splits).

            Rodriguez has been hurt, but I believe he is still capable of hitting .290 or higher, probably not more than .305 if healthy and 38-35 hrs.

            Matsuzaka is getting paid to play pokemon and mario in the nurses office during lunch time.

            Soriano spent some time on the DL, but is still a solid arm out of the pen. Which I think NY should feel blessed to have 2 legit setup men, and a possible third if Joba ever makes anything of himself after his booboo time is over.

            When all is said and done, we are dealing with big market teams who will give large contracts to players they MUST have at that time. As we all should no by now, not all contracts work out the way you want them to and end up a bust.

      • slider32 4 years ago

        You forgot Crawford, Dice-K, Lackey, and Jenks.

        • 2001morecowbell2001 4 years ago

          And whatever the hell they still pay Manny Ramirez. Doesnt he get 2 million a year from the sox until the end of the world?

        • MB923 4 years ago

          And Century forgot Soriano and Burnett.

  5. Don’t really get all the steal comments. He’s getting paid $2.8 million in his first arbitration year, not on the open market. $2.8 million for a first time arbitration eligible player of his calibre isn’t what I’d call a steal at all, it seems like it’s about the going rate.

    • It’s a steal because he’s worth about 10M, arbitration wise or not.

      • Then isn’t Pineda an even bigger steal since he’s making under 500k? As are about 90% of players still under team control because if they aren’t a steal, they’d be non-tendered. 

        If you’re trying to find comparables for him, you have to compare him to other players in the same situation as him, and those are players in their first year of arbitration. And in that sense, no, it’s not really a steal.

        • Less than 3 million dollars for the second best LFer in baseball is a steal. Maybe third, but we’re gonna have to see Gordon repeat what he did last year.

          • …you obviously missed the point. Nevermind.

          • No, there is no point to be made on your behalf. Gardner getting 3 million is a steal. It doesn’t matter if he is in arb or not. It’s a steal.

          • Tko11 4 years ago

            …someone does not understand arbitration.

          • FrankTheFunkasaurusRex 4 years ago

            aww dammit, should’ve read till the end

      • FrankTheFunkasaurusRex 4 years ago

        someone doesn’t understand arbitration

    • aricollins 4 years ago

      This. It’s a steal if you compare it to free agency, but that’s a weird comparison. Nearly every single player is underpaid before hitting FA, and Gardner is no more or less than anyone else.

    • Guest 4 years ago

      An arb panel didn’t make this decision so its a moot point. He filed for what he felt he was worth. Considering the best comparison available is Carl Crawford, he was justified with filing that number. In relation to Crawford, he absolutely is a steal when they perform (or they should) at the same level and have very similar skill sets. LF for Gardner at Yankee stadium is perfect, in fact he’d play better in places like Safco, Comerica, etc. I’d argue that Bret’s defensive metrics would be worse at Fenway, which brings  us back to the old argument, what the heck were the Red Sox thinking when they signed Crawford. It’s like taking a tiger and putting him in a 12 x 10 foot backyard. It’s not going to end well. 

      • He filed for what he felt he was worth as a first year arbitration eligible player. If the best comparison available is Carl Crawford, then you compare Gardner at year 1 of arbitration with Crawford at year 1 of arbitration and Crawford obtained $2.6 million. So again, given where he is in his career, no, this is not a steal. He got what he deserved based on what other players got in his position.

  6. InvalidUserID 4 years ago

    I think my nickname for Gardy (Carl’s Jr…Carl Crawford, that is) still applies. If his defense and base skills stay the same and he only improves on his average, he’ll be golden.

  7. I think that it may make sense for Russell Martin to go to arbitration; this is his 4th and last arbitration year. Boone Logan, however, should settle.

  8. SierraM363 4 years ago

    I still remember when fans were comparing Ellsbury and Gardner. I guess with Ellsbury’s great year they now have to compare him against Crawford.

    • nestleraisinets 4 years ago

      no, it was only your imagination because how can fans compare the two when ellsbury was in the DL for a long time…

      It was always Crawford and Gardner from the beginning because gardner is cheaper than Crawford.

      • SierraM363 4 years ago

        No Crawford wasn’t here until last year. Until now the comparison was Ellsbury and Gardner because they were both from the farm system and were both quick outfielders that showed little power. Yankee fans have now switched to comparing him to Crawford because he is an overpaid F.A. and had a mediocre year. Meanwhile Ellsbury has taken the next step and impressed. It’s more palatable for Yankee fans to compare Gardner’s numbers to a mediocre/overpaid Crawford than to top quality player like Ellsbury.

        • nestleraisinets 4 years ago

          Yankee fans before never even care about Gardner until just on 2010 because before that he was just a pinch runner. So comparing has only began on 2011 when he became a regular on 2010

          The only reason Gardner is being compared to anybody is because he is cheap, but productive…

  9. No, thanks.

  10. Tko11 4 years ago

    Gardner is 27 years old which is why he doesn’t really make sense for the Mariners. I’d imagine they would want prospects in return. Felix is like 25? I would say the Yankees would have to give the Mariners a choice of any 4-5 prospects from their farm. I don’t really see that happening. 

  11. He has a great arm. You should watch the game. Best defensive player in baseball, and it’s not even close.

  12. Who’s outfield is better?

  13. I wasn’t knocking his point, just talking about A-Rod.

  14. This might be true. But as of right now he is.

  15. Guest 4 years ago

    There is some truth to that. I think the final decision for outfield placement was due to the team not being sure that Gardner would stick long term. Meaning, I don’t think they wanted to put Granderson in LF, only to have moved him mid season, because they “might have” upgraded in LF, someone over Gardner. Once Gardner showed, his 1st full season, that he was everything and more that they needed, I’m guessing it’s now a little late to be switching players around. If Granderson were 35 and not 30, I absolutely think a change would be made for 2012.. 

  16. JacobyWanKenobi 4 years ago

    With Gardner, it’s more about him learning how to use his legs and hips more.

  17. Tko11 4 years ago

    Every post he has made is fueled by bias.

  18. Tko11 4 years ago


  19. 2001morecowbell2001 4 years ago

    Not sure how to respond to that given Im not even remotely close to a Yankees fan. But Im sure its hard to differentiate in obsession nation

  20. Tko11 4 years ago

    Defense is important but choosing Gardner over the guys I mentioned is crazy. I rather have a player who is an elite hitter with average or below average defense than a player who has great defense and an average hitter. Would anyone in their right mind take Gardner over Cargo? Fangraphs has Gardner one spot ahead of Cargo. 

Leave a Reply