What Will the Yankees do with Brett Gardner Next Season?
The New York Yankees are in store for a very busy offseason. The first of many big decisions the Bombers face has to do with long time Yankee, Brett Gardner.
Now that the 2018 season is offically over, the Yankees have two days to decide whether or not they want to pick up their team option on Gardner for next year. If New York decides to decline the $12.5 million option, the 11 year Yankees will be owed a two million dollar buyout and become a free agent.
After watching the Boston Red Sox win its fourth championship in 15 years, the Bombers are set to do everything in their power to build a contender to take down Boston. Will this include picking up Brett Gardner’s pricey option? There is a chance Gardner is back in pinstripes next season, but it will more than likely include a huge pay cut and acceptance of a lesser role.
Gardner’s second half of 2018 was no where near his standards. He struggled so much that by the time August rolled around, Garnder lost his starting left fielders job to newly aquired Andrew McCutchen. The left hander’s production slipped dramatically from his 2017 numbers. Gardner set a career high last season with 21 homers, compared to only 12 in 2018.
Gardner was nominated for a gold glove for a second straight season, but is on a visible decline. At age 35, and with top prospects like Clint Frazier and Estevan Florial knocking on the door, Gardner’s tenure as a Yankee may be coming to an end. Also, for those who have forgotten, Jacoby Ellsbury is still on the Yankees roster. Ellsbury is being paid $21 million and is not going away any time soon. He is signed up at least for the next three seasons.
Gardner is still cabable of performing in a starting outfielders role somewhere, but that place probably is not in the Bronx.
The 35 year old is the most senior memeber on the Yankees roster. He is beloved in the club house and would most definitely be missed. He has leadership qualities, which are vital in developing young talent. But with many options in left field, the Yankees are faced with a dilemma.
In the back of his mind, Gardner is certainly aware that his Yankee marriage is at its end. He will more than likely become a free agent for the first time in his career. This is all speculation however, who knows what the Yankees or Gardner will decide on. I believe that most Yankee fans would love to see him return at a crack at number 28. We will find out the fate of Gardy on Thursday.
Should the New York Yankees decline the option, they would need to figure out left field. Jacoby Ellsbury is right now on the roster. He and his $21 million salary that has two more years plus an option in 2021. They have Clint Frazier, who battled concussion symptoms all year long. They could also put Giancarlo Stanton more in the outfield to free up the DH spot in free agency.
The 35 year old is the most senior member of the New York Yankees roster. He does have leadership qualities, which are important to a team that is pretty young at most areas.
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