The Yankees recently “rekindled” their discussions about a reunion with outfielder Brett Gardner, per Jack Curry of the YES Network (Twitter link), who adds that he expects a deal to eventually be reached. ESPN’s Buster Olney noted last week that the Yankees still hoped to bring Gardner back.
New York still hasn’t formally announced DJ LeMahieu’s reported six-year, $90MM contract, but between that signing, Corey Kluber’s $11MM agreement (also not yet formally announced) and this weekend’s acquisition of right-hander Jameson Taillon, the Yanks are quite close to the $210MM luxury tax barrier. A reunion with Gardner probably wouldn’t cost more than a few million dollars, however, and the club seems likely to be able to find a way to stay south of the threshold if that indeed remains an ownership goal.
The 37-year-old Gardner has spent his entire 13-year Major League career with the Yankees. In 2020, he put together a .223/.354/.392 batting line. That .223 mark was a career-low batting average, due in part to a career-high 22.2 percent strikeout rate, but Gardner’s results in last year’s short sample weren’t all bad. His 16.5 percent walk rate was a career-high by a wide margin, and Statcast also credited Gardner with career-best marks in hard-hit rate (36.5 percent), average exit velocity (89.2 mph) and barreled balls (5.2 percent). Gardner’s 76 percent contact rate was the lowest of his career, but he also chased pitches outside the strike zone at his lowest rate since 2010 and, as a result, made better contact when he did put the the bat on the ball.
The Yankees’ outfield figures to be filled on a regular basis by Aaron Judge, Aaron Hicks and Clint Frazier, with primary designated hitter Giancarlo Stanton cycling into the corners at times as well. New York has lefty-hitting Mike Tauchman on the 40-man roster as well, and he’s out of minor league options, so he’ll need to break the Opening Day roster or else be designated for assignment or traded elsewhere. Taucman, though, hit .242/.342/.305 in 111 plate appearances last year, showing none of the pop he displayed in a breakout 2019 campaign.
Love Gardy, but why? But, it’s time to retire and feed the Pigeons already
Doesn’t sound like you love, Gardy!
Why retire if you want to play and bank a few million more and the only MLB team you’ve known wants you back. Plenty of time for retirement.
Why from the Yankees perspective? He’s a perfectly cromulent 4th OFer. He’s a lefty batter, of which the Yankees have none. He’s a lefty batter who still is effective against righty pitchers, with a .370 OBP and over an .800 OPS last season. He remains a solid defender in LF, who can also cover CF. He still rates in the upper percentile in sprint speed. He’s always available to take the field, which is critical with Judge, Hicks and even Frazier having track records of being injured. He is a club house leader. He’ll come cheap and that’s important as the Yankees are focused on resetting the luxury tax.
Seems like an easy choice. Gardner adds 3 plus wins to the team every year, although that will probably be reduced to two as he won’t be a starter with Frazier in left. Or do you prefer Greg Allen?
A noble Gardner embiggens the smallest the lineup.
Gardner is a waste of $. Makes zero sense to sign him. We have a 4th OF (Tauchman) who is defensively capable and LH. Just because he had a “down” year in a 60 game season doesn’t mean he’s worthless. He’s cheap AF and a capable backup.
If he doesn’t work out, give a youngster on the farm a chance instead of signing an old man.
Please you need to seek professional help if you think this guy can still play…he’s shot, done, out of gas…either sign someone better or let Tauchman back up Frazier
Snotboy, while I find your comment compelling, it nevertheless does not move me to change my opinion nor seek professional help.
1. While order, he can play both left and center, and Hicks is a walking IL waiting to happen.
2. He’s a left-handed hitter
3. He’s willing to be a bench player unless needed to fill in due to injury
4. He’s a veteran voice in the locker room and commands attention.
5. While a very streaky hitter, you can’t discount that when/if he gets hot at the plate, he can rake and rake both the opposite way, and with some pull power.
6. He’ll come as a cheap option from the bench.
STOP USING LOGIC. Don’t you know where you’re at?!
7. He’ll cost us Ottavino and leave us with one more critical hole in the pen, following Kahnle.
Maybe after they resign Gardy they’ll hav e room for another reliever. Still some names out there.
No. Gardner is not costing you Ottavino. They’ve been looking to move Ottavino all off season to overall increase their payroll flexibility. If Gardner had signed with some other team or announced he’s retiring, the Yankees almost assuredly would have still dumped Ottavino for the payroll space they need for the players already signed, the players traded for, the pay increases to arbitration eligible players, potential additional moves this offseason, and the ability to make moves during the season. Gardner is but one person on the 40-man roster they need to fund over the next nine months.
8. I’m just sick of seeing his face
There are better than not odds that come opening day (at least)one of Judge/Stanton/Hicks will be on the IL so depth is always a good thing.
Maybe he should retire.
@Cambio- yes, my thoughts exactly
Make couple more mills and do what you love.. or retire and not make any more.. hmmmmmm
Alternatively, maybe the Yanks should stop signing him.
I’ll second that. I’m sick and tired of the glorified AAA Bret Gardner, aside from that steroid induced season a few years back.
FWIW, as a RS fan, I have long admired Gardner’s play. Being from The Bronx, I’ve seen a ton of games at Y.S. When he was younger, and more athletic, he reminded me of what JBJ is now. In that split second, between you see the batter make contact, and when you pick up the fielder, Gardner would be at full speed, and virtually never ran a bad route.
I never cared for him as much in CF, but he was a magnificent LF, with just enough offense to be annoying.
They just can’t quit this guy
And I though Bobby Evans’ Giants were bad when they just couldn’t let go of players no matter what
Sometimes the way these things are phrased is just funny.
“(Team) is looking at/eyeing (player)”
“Team is considering talking to player”
“Team has resumed talking to player”
It’s just the way we phrase it.
*The text convo between Cashman and Gardy*
Gardy: Whatsup sug?
Cashman: Nothin much bae
Gardy: Sooo… hows work going?
Cashman: Fine, but I really want to ask you something…
Cashman: Would you take 1 year 6 mil?
Gardy: Maybe sug, lemme think about it…
Cashman: Mkay… you hang up..
Gardy: No you hang up
Cashman: No you
Gardy: No you…
Cashman: Well fine! ttyl bae
I laughed too hard at this.
You have to stop with this. I like to peek in between running jobs, but I can’t sit at my desk laughing. But definitely a +1.
Funny. But how do you hang up a text convo?
It’s easy, you just end the
Sometimes you post something so outlandish and clever I literally laugh out loud! Thanks for the lols.
I’m sure the Yankees never stopped talking to him. I don’t expect him to sign with another team.
@dmano- yes, only talk to Gardy about coaching at this point please!
Lol he wants to play one more year. Sign him to a small deal and let him retire. I’m sure the biggest thing for him right now is he’d want his last game played to be in front of the home crowd which may not happen in 2021.
@Rangers29- thinking 1 year, $6 million is way too much for Gardy at this point. Maybe 1 yr, $3 million?
It’ll definitely be around the $3 million range.
Ok, that’s about right. I wasn’t paying attention to the price too much because it was a bit, but yeah I actually see him landing closer to that 3 mil range. I compare him to a Robbie Grossman-lite, and he got 2 years 10 mil. I can definatley see the deal landing in the 3 mil range.
They may have room for him under the CBT but will they have room for him on the roster. Correct me if I’m wrong but I think they went back to the 25 man roster.
It was increased to 26 before covid was even a thing, so that’ll be the minimum. Could be more, we haven’t heard about any decisions being made on that yet.
It’s still 26 and it wouldn’t surprise me if they continue with expanded rosters (27 or 28) at the start of the season. The virus will still be with us and teams will need extra arms as they go from a 60-game season to 162 games. Regardless, Gardner wouldn’t be the 25th or 26th man on the roster. He’d be a high-rotation 4th OFer, playing against righties as he’s still quite effective against the long side of the platoon, late-inning defense, pinch runner, etc.
I love Gardner but I’m over him at this point. Now they will have to move someone to get his few million on the books and get worse in the process since gardners not that good anymore
And that someone is Ottavino who, outside two bad games, was lgihts out for 22 others. Big hit to the pen, which was already down Kahnle.
They need an usher at Yankee stadium.
Isn’t a big part of his appeal to the Yankees right now the fact that he bats left-handed?
And can play CF. But his bat is way too slow now.
Sign Gardy for now, and then come mid-season, trade for Gallo.
Why not sign Joc Pederson instead?
Make him a coach and if and when injuries him bring him back. Bet on the younger kids. He is another year older and will only get worse esp. defense
Ya’ll complaining about a cheap part-time player/injury replacement that was on base at over .350. Mental people.
I have a question about OBP. If a batter hits into a fielder’s choice and forces a runner out at 2B but he ends up on 1st, does that count towards his OBP numbers (since he technically reached base) or do fielder’s choice count as an ‘out’ when calculating OBP? Inquiring minds want to know.
That counts as an out, so lowers OBP same way it lowers the average.
Hopefully for the league minimum just so he can retire a yankee. We’ve got a ton of outfielders already that we can put in the outfield for when the starters get hurt.
I was hoping for my boy Estevan Florial platooning with Red Thunder in left field at this point, and giving Hicks a breather in center field occasionally. No more need for Gardy anymore. Give the kids a chance all ready!
Agreed, though I wonder if they will be keeping him down (hopefully at the AAA level) to get more consistent playing time.
As a Yankee fan, I agree. The only thing I can think they may want him back is because he’s a lefthanded bat.
I have Gardner resigning with the Yanks in the FA contest so of course I hope that they hammer out a deal. 🙂
It’s funny how baseball careers can turn out. Onetime Yankees outfield fixture Roberto Kelly wound up playing for eight teams during his 13 MLB seasons. The similarly talented Brett Gardner has been a Yankees lifer for his 14. It’s doubtful anyone would have imagined that when these players first hit The Bronx.
Watch him hit .262 with 21 HR’s and 63 RBI’s and be above average in the field or something…
How much do they have left to spend? How do they count the luxury tax line? Because when I check spotrac it indicates that they’re $2.6M away from the luxury tax line and I don’t yet see Taillon included, who will make $2.2M, so that’s $400k left….
Yankees have two issues..one is a must.. the other is more of a “would like”. There are too many guys for too few spots on the 40 man roster before Gardner is resigned. That is the must.. a spot HAS to be opened. A spot can be opened if the NYY’s were to drop Greg Allen or one of a small number of guys..but, it must be done..
The Yankees would like to stay UNDER the CBT.. The NYY’s are currently sitting around 4.4 MM under that number.. Being even five cents under that number resets the tax rate.. So, a solution would be to trade their most expensive, least valuable asset.. probably Gary Sanchez… Where is unknown.. What is whatever Gardner’s salary is times two..
Not an easy decision for Cashman..
If not Sanchez.. then Ottavino <=== was going to add..
Since there is a butt-ton of Yankee fans here right now, I wanted to run this trade by y’all that I came up with last night:
“Hmm… So many variables. I believe that Gallo can go back to being an all-star again, but maybe not MVP level like his half of 2019 was. A .900 ops with 40-50 homers and terrific defense for a year and a half is worth top prospects. A haul. Let me think out loud here…
So… The Rangers might be deep in pitching prospects, but all they have are 4th starter potential (Dunning and Winn might be the exceptions to the rule). With that being said, I’d say Schmidt would be the headliner. He’s 24, so you could throw him into the Rangers’ plans of having a plethora of young MLB ready players right now with Dunning, Lowe, Solak, Calhoun, Allard, J Hernandez, Evans, Dahl, Leclerc… the list goes on.
The Rangers have some good infield depth in the minors as well as at catcher, but outfield is weeeeak. This team is also back to having too many lefties, so preferably a right-handed outfield bat(s) would be ideal. Looking through Yanks prospect lists, the best outfielder there (and one of my favorite prospects there) is Florial. I love the fielding tools of his, and it looks like he has power for days (essentially, Gallo) though he too is left-handed. I will contradict myself just this once and add Florial because he is replacing the left-handed Gallo so it doesn’t make much difference (and I love his tools).
The final piece will be an interesting lotto piece, Beck Way. Good fastball and changeup, looks like a future bullpen arm but he’s currently starting, and if he wants to continue starting he’ll need a better breaking pitch.
Here’s the final trade:
Yanks get: Gallo
Rangers get: Schmidt, Florial, and Way
This would be mid-season in 21′, and after a (hypothetical) good half-season by Gallo.”
And after reading through the Gardy rumors, why don’t the Yanks sign Gardy as a stopgap for an eventual Gallo trade mid-season? What are your thoughts on the trade?
Not a Yankee fan but I’ll chime in. As much as I admire some of the things Gallo does, I don’t see him being traded to the Yankees. With all the risky starters in the Yankees rotation, they’re more likely to be focused on pitching at the deadline. They took flyers on Kluber and Taillon because the pitching market is pretty dry right now (unless a team wants to pay mightily for Castillo). But that should change later on as teams drop out of the post-season race and reassess their priorities. They may even be satisfied with Schmidt as a rotation piece by then.
Rangers.. That’s going to be a hard no. Reason being, with the injury concerns with starting pitching, it’s going to be all hands on deck and the Scranton Shuttle will be racking up the miles this year. Trading Schmidt (or any starter close to the majors) for a TOR arm is one thing but for an area of little need, no way.
Gallo takes them over the tax threshold. Not happening.
The transition from the regular season game to the old-timers game will be seamless.
I consider myself to be the luckiest man wearing a Yankees face mask in an empty stadium.
I say bring him back. I like him. He plays hard. He’s a professional. Plus if history repeats itself. Expect judge and Stanton to spend time in the dl
I’ve never seen a fan base dog on a franchise player so much. What did he do to wrong ANY of you? Believe it or not he can still play at a very competitive level.
Find a different team Gardy, you’ll be appreciated elsewhere..
Nah. Yankee fans love Gardner. Social media and blogs allow a vocal few to have a disproportionate voice.
Probably true. I just see far more pessimism over optimism whenever the name is brought up.
It’s got nothing to do with whether or not people love Gardner and everything to do with taking on Gardner to lose Ottavino when we’ve already lost Kahnle. There’s the rub. Re-signing Gardner is going to cost big time in the pen and we already have Frazier, Tauchman, and Florial. Get it now? We love Gardner but we love contending for the WS even more. A weak pen is going to be a problem.
No.. because Gardy is/has always been worth way more than Ottavino and nearly anyone else in that outfield either making 4x the cost of him, or playing less than 1/3 the games as him.
Shane Greene, Darren O’Day, Melancon, Giles, Workman.. there’s plenty of quality RP’s out there
Lol, You want Florial and Tauchman out there over.. Gardy?! And, want/expect to contend in the WS?! I’m honestly in awe
Florial hasn’t even sneezed in AA. And his 2019 OBP stats plummeted in A+ league. I like him, and think he potentially could have a good career in MLB. But, I think he needs time to grow in MILB. Which is where a stop gap like Gardy is a perfect fit. IMO, Tauchman is a platoon guy, or a trade piece..
A career 43 WAR player too. It’s mind boggling.
I guess with the fragile Hicks, Stanton and Judge, they could use Gardner
Guaranteed dl time from those 3
Frazier, Tauchman and Florial.
Not super deep on the whole Gardner situation but is the thought that if he doesn’t re-sign he’ll retire?
NYY seems to have a crowded OF mix so from an outsiders perspective to me it looks like he’d be a better fit on like a KC or PIT team where they’re rebuilding and he could play more. You don’t see a lot of guys with all of their time with one team nowadays though so maybe that’s not really a serious option for him.
Give Gardner a million plus a hotdog and a beer. Don’t waste money. Sign Rosenthal to replace Ottavino.
Could Yankees bring back Robertson or Bentances to replace Ottavino?
Betances is under contract for the Mets.,
Tauchman to be DFA’d and picked up on waivers by the redsox? Could be an interesting fit. Tauchman is a left handed hitting outfielder and could platoon with renfroe. Tauchman is no gold glover but hes not bad and his bat won’t win a silver slugger but it isn’t bad either
How much is the market for Joc Pedersen? Much rather have him than Gardy.
I don’t think the Tigers would be willing to pass up on Tauchman, if he’s waived. Although, they skipped on Deivy Grullon..so it would not suprise me.
I’m sure the Yanks could find a trade partner instead of waiving him for nil.
If anyone is DFA’ed it would probably be Greg Allen.
Why the hell would they DFA Tauchman? Allen is the guy. lol
Yankees to Gardner: Will you take the league minimum?
Gardner thinking: Its that or mow the lawn and take out the trash all summer.
Pounding the dugout ceiling for another year? Great.
First time poster here and since this site is geared toward trade rumors and actual trades I am wondering something regarding Gardner. To date 14 years as a Yankee and over all the those years Cashman always has said that ” everyone” was interested in trading for Gardner at winter meetings and at certain times at trading deadline time frames, Can anyone that posts here tell me of one instance of any serious trade discussion for Gardner by any major league team. I for one can not. A few years ago Cashman resigned Gardner literally 6 days after the end of that year and today the situation is to get under the salary threshold by trading the relief pitcher to the Red Sox in order to have money to resign Gardner tells me all that I already suspect about the relationship between Cashman and Gardner.
My favorite Brett Gardner GIF:
At this point we have to consider Gardner has photos of Cashman having sex with an entire orphanage. Signing him makes NO SENSE.
Well maybe not the whole orphanage but something smells rotten here. I have read where Gardner’s father, after his minor league days were long over, became a horse trainer at the time of George Steinbrenner and Cashmen’s ex wife’s father, who was a billionaire, owed race horses where Gardner’s father worked as a trainer. That business relationship led to Cashman meeting his then ex wife, who he later married, and because of her father’s great wealth made the young and inexperienced Cashman an untouchable within the Yankee organization. During his tenure with the Yankees Cashman has been known to be a womanizer who not only cheated on that ex wife with a Westchester woman but as has been highly publicly reported, was blackmailed by another women in Las Vegas in the mid 2000’s. Some think that the blackmail attempt was attempted because the blackmailer knew of the great wealth of the ex wife’s father. That blackmail attempt failed, and although Cashman’s wife filed for divorce the following day, Cashman has remained within the Yankee organization as has Gardner to this day.
What Else is behind the curtain is anyone’s guess.
Let’s just assume your conspiracy theory is correct and perhaps Gardner has compromised Cashman and always has a job. How do you explain Cashman giving Kluber $11 million after not pitching for 2 years? Exactly how many innings do you expect to get for $11 million? How do you explain Kluber and Jameson Taillon, who also hasn’t pitched in 2 years, and is coming off of his 2nd Tommy John comprising 2/5 of the pitching rotation with Severino, who is also coming off of a major injury. Add in Gerrit Cole and Jordan Montgomery and you have the staff that will need to pick up the slack for the offense which Stanton and Judge hit the disabled list.
Very Barry, Pitchers are pitchers and not power hitting outfielders. Regarding outfielders, I can count at least 10 better qualified outfielders.over Gardner’s tenure that were better qualified to either be on the team’s roster, or start on the same roster as teammates with Gardner, or being considered to be brought in as free agents to enhance the Yankee outfield that in the end were all passed over in favor of allowing Gardner to remain solidly in Cashman’s protective graces. To show how Gardner is that well protected by Cashman, when that monkey dugout bat bashing incident happened and thereafter Joe Torre met with senior Yankee brass without Gardner;s presence in that meeting, the end result was Cashman saying that Gardner was” resting” a few days rather than the implication of that Torre meeting resulting in a 2 or 3 game suspension for his actions. And this behavior pattern is what Cashman refers to Gardner’s leadership skills to the young players. Thank God Judge only played along with that type of motivation for a few games before realizing how dumb it was.
Very Barry, to continue with my thought process, you make some very good points regarding Cashman’s decision making process for selecting pitchers, namely,in reality Cashman lacks a great deal of baseball acumen when it comes to truly building a World Series calibre team. He inherited a Gene Michaels/Bob Watson team and minor league organization that would later win the Series and thereafter, a bunch of what ifs or could have beens. Unfortunately, Hal is not George and since Cashman has been “protected” by the Steinbrenners and Gardner has been “protected” by Cashman for the reasons I suggest in my above posts, I feel the same pattern will continue into the future. My solution is to not resign Gardner now and buy out Cashman;s contract in the near term. If that happens., then my Yankees will be better positioned to compete for many more rings. To accomplish this either Hal will have to have an epiphany or sell the team to a billionaire in the range of Cashman’s ex wife’s father’s net worth.
Haters you can’t get rid of them..
FrankJ,,,,Hater??? I have been a Yankee fan since 1949 ( probably longer than you have been on this planet) and want nothing more for them to win another few more WS before I kick the can, With Cashman and Gardner in place the chances of that are not looking good.
Like a table needs legs, like a book needs pages, who the hell needs your .223 bat?
5MM 1 Year