Alex Kielar | December 12th, 2019
Brett Gardner was drafted by the Yankees in 2005 out of the College of Charleston and returns to them on another one-year deal, worth $12.5 million with a $10 million option for 2021. A few teams were interested in multi-year deals with Gardner, but he showed his loyalty in preferring to stay with the Yankees. The veteran outfielder and clubhouse leader made his debut in 2008 and is the last remaining player from the Yankees’ last World Series victory in 2009, his first full year with the club.
Gardner had a career year in 2019 and was one of the Yankees’ most consistent players during a year they had 30 different IL stints. He put up career highs in home runs (28), RBIs (74), and OPS (.829), while also being a consistent outfielder (five DRS, three UZR) while the Yankees dealt with injuries to Aaron Hicks and Giancarlo Stanton throughout the season. He played 45 games in left field and 98 in center for a total of 143 games. With Hicks expected to be sidelined until around August, this was an important signing, as Gardner will most likely start in center.
Gardner has shown a lot of fire during his 11-year major league career, and in 2019 a viral video was seen of him banging (not on a trash can-*cough) his bat on the roof of the Yankees’ dugout when the Yankees were not agreeing with strike calls. He was seen doing this on a couple different occasions, which thus started Yankees fans saying “Let Brett Bang”. He has been a great leader in the clubhouse as well and welcomed the number of players of the “B-team” that came through the revolving door during all the injuries. He made sure all the Mike Tauchmans, Mike Fords, and Tyler Wades of the world felt a part of the team and kept up the positive vibes.
Gardner is now 36 and still comes up with a number of clutch hits and has added more power to his game over the last few seasons, which he didn’t have much of early on in his career. Even with this, he still just looks to make contact and slap the ball around. He isn’t much of a stolen-base threat anymore, as he doesn’t really take a chance running with the powerful bats in the lineup, but he still does have wheels and can score from first on a base hit.
Gardner will most likely finish his career as a Yankee and hopes to bring home another World Series ring with the Yankees. His loyalty is unmatched and the Yankees definitely appreciate that.
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Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images