New York Yankees to re-sign veteran OF Brett Gardner

Dec. 12 (UPI) — Veteran outfielder Brett Gardner, the New York Yankees‘ longest-tenured player, will remain with the club after agreeing to a one-year contract.

League sources told ESPN and MLB Media on Thursday that Gardner will receive $12.5 million next season. According to ESPN, the Yankees have a $10 million club option for 2021 with a $2.5 million buyout. The signing, pending a physical, is not yet official.

“The constant that he is means a lot to the organization, as well as the production on the field,” Yankees assistant general manager Michael Fishman said. “He’s coming off one of his best seasons, not just in the additional power he had last year but the continued excellent defense that he’s displayed throughout his career. He’s a big part of our team.”

Gardner, 36, had a .251 batting average with a career-high 28 home runs and 74 RBIs last season. He was expected to serve as the Yankees’ fourth outfielder in 2019 but injuries pushed him into the starting lineup in 141 games. Aaron Judge was limited to 102 games, while Aaron Hicks (59 games) and Giancarlo Stanton (18) missed significant time.

The Yankees selected Gardner in the third round of the 2005 MLB Draft. He has a .260 career average with 124 homers, 524 RBIs and 267 stolen bases in 12 major league seasons since debuting in 2008.

Gardner is a one-time All-Star selection (2015) and won a World Series title with the Yankees in 2009. He also won a Gold Glove Award in 2016.