Today the Yankees agreed to a four-year, $52 million extension with Brett Gardner. This news came as somewhat of a surprise, given that the Yankees are not really into giving contract extensions (*cough* Robinson Cano). Despite the fact that teams such as the Reds made offers to the Yankees to trade Gardner over the offseason, and the Yankees declined such offers, it still seemed likely that Gardner would hit free agency at the end of this season. It is refreshing to see the Yankees make moves to lock in Gardner, at least for the time being.
Since being called up in 2008, Gardner has hit .268/.352/.381 with the Yankees. Known for his speed, Gardner has stolen 161 bases over the past six years, and stole a personal-best of 49 in 2011. Gardner has suffered from various injuries over the years, including a fractured thumb that caused him to miss time in 2009, wrist surgery during the offseason in 2010, a right elbow injury that led to surgery and kept him out for almost all of 2012, and an oblique strain at the end of 2013. He bounced back from the elbow injury in 2013, hitting .273/.344/.416, 108 wRC+, with 24 SB and 8 home runs. One of those home runs came during one of last season's most memorable games: the August 11th game against the Tigers, where Gardner hit a walk-off home run following Mariano Rivera's third straight blown save. Gardner also saved the day in the game against Detroit on August 9th, when he hit a walk-off single in the 10th inning following the second blown save by Mo, during that scary week of "What's wrong with Mo?"
What do you think of the Gardner extension? Would you rather they had let him walk at the end of this season, and sought another outfielder? Do you think he'll still end up being traded? Or are you happily anticipating the speedy outfield combo of Gardner and Jacoby Ellsbury?