Yankees Notes: Extending Gardner is a Smart Move
The Yankees had a busy weekend, signing injured reliever Andrew Bailey and more notably, reaching an extension with outfielder Brett Gardner.
The extension for Gardner is reported to be at four years and $52 million.
He will play this season under his existing contract, with the extension kicking in after the season ends.
This seems like a smart move, as Gardner has proven to be among the most valuable and consistent players in the Yanks’ lineup over the last few years.
Gardner can provide stability at the top or at the bottom of the order, has great speed and plays good enough defense to believe that he will continue to be a solid outfielder through the duration of the extension, especially if he's in a corner position.
He is also durable, having played at least 145 games in three of the last four seasons.
Gardner solidifies the Yanks’ outfield along with new acquisitions Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran.
Beltran, although still a very productive hitter, will be 37-years-old in April and there are questions about how long he can continue to hit at the .296/24/84 clip he posted a year ago.
While Gardner has been durable throughout his career, there are questions about whether or not Ellsbury can stay on the field, as he played just 18 games in 2010 and 74 in 2012.
If he does stay healthy, Gardner and Ellsbury give the Yankees a great combination of speed. Maybe manager Joe Girardi will use it to manufacture more runs with the departure of Robinson Cano to the Mariners.
Re-signing Gardner seems like a home run to me, but it does leave me with questions about what the roles of Alfonso Soriano and future hall of famer Ichiro Suzuki are on this team going forward.
The Bailey signing is an intriguing one, as he missed the back half of 2013 season with the Red Sox with a torn labrum. He won’t even be available to help the Yankees bullpen until the second half of 2014, but if he can make his way back, he has a chance to be a difference maker down the stretch.
He’s a former all-star closer. At the low price of $1.98 million (if he makes it all the way up), it’s a low-risk and really high-reward move.
Read more on Gardner from ESPN
Read more on the Bailey signing from MLBTradeRumors