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Brett Gardner, New York Yankees Agree to 4-Year, $52MM Contract Extension

February 23rd, 2014 at 2:53 PM
By Doug Rush

A couple of months ago, the New York Yankees were getting trade offers for Brett Gardner and were pondering trading him after they had signed Jacoby Ellsbury. Those trade talks were officially squashed on Sunday.

Jon Heyman from CBS Sports and WFAN has reported that the Yankees and Gardner have agreed to a four-year, $52 million extension to keep him in left field for a few more seasons.

Just after Robinson Cano left to sign his 10-year, $240 million deal with the Seattle Mariners and Ellsbury signing his seven-year, $153 million deal with the Bombers, the Yankees got a trade offer from the Cincinnati Reds that could have landed them Brandon Phillips for Gardner, but the Yankees declined due to Phillips drop in production and him requesting a larger contract before being traded, and thus, the Yankees passed and instead signed Brian Roberts, plus kept Gardner.

The 30-year-old hit .273 with eight home runs, 52 RBI, stole 24 bases and lead the league with 10 triples in 145 games last season for the Yankees before a late leg injury in September kept him out for the final two weeks. Gardner became the team's center fielder in 2013 after Curtis Granderson suffered a broken hand in spring training and eventually, shifted over to right field, but with Ellsbury signing, as well as the addition of Carlos Beltran, it permanently shifts Gardner back to left field and Alfonso Soriano goes to the designated hitter spot.

Gardner will still make $5.6 million from his final year of arbitration, so his new four-year contract won't officially kick in until the 2015 season. Also included in the deal is an option for $12.5 million in 2019 and a $2 million buyout, thus making the deal worth up to $64.5 over five years.

Locking up Gardner for at least four-five more seasons show that the Yankees think very highly of Gardner's defensive abilities, plus the terror he can create on the base paths. Plus, now that Ellsbury is in town, the two outfielders could team up to really light up the base paths and maybe even lead the lead in the category for the next several years.

Photo credit: njnetfan via Flickr cc


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Tags: Baseball, Brett Gardner, Jacoby Ellsbury, MLB, New York, New York Yankees

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