July 25, 2021

Brett Gardner may have a bigger market than the Yankees imagined (Pinstripe Alley)


The Yankees signed Brett Gardner at a discount last offseason. He put pen to paper on a one-year, $7.5 million deal that just expired. What now? What’s next for the 36-year old?

He had a career-best season at the plate, at least in the power department. He put up his best marks so far in home runs (28), RBI (74), ISO (.253), launch angle (13.6 degrees), and fly ball percentage (38.2 %).

He accrued 3.6 fWAR and was one of the best outfielders in the American League. His power surge may not be all that sustainable given that he only had a 31.4 hard-hit rate and there was a sizable difference between his .344 wOBA and .301 xwOBA. However, thanks to his defense (2.5 fielding runs and the ability to play a good center field) and prowess in the basepaths (4.6 baserunning runs), he is still a desirable asset.

If Aaron Hicks wasn’t injured, maybe the Yankees would feel comfortable going into the season with him and Mike Tauchman as their two primary options in center field, letting Gardner walk to seek greener pastures. But Hicks is slated to miss a few months of 2020 due to Tommy John surgery. Can the Yankees really afford to lose Gardner given the circumstances?

If the Yankees…

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