As we headed into the first weekend of spring training and with it (still) snowing in the New York area, we all began to bunker in for a Friday night of Tacitus and television — well, at least I was. And then my phone buzzed, and I received something most rare during our COVID-19 existence: a party invitation.
After months of speculation, the Yankees re-signed outfielder Brett Gardner to a one-year, $4 million contract with both a player and a team option for 2022, that will keep the long-time Yankee in pinstripes for at least his 14th big league season.
Given the Yankees’ lack of outfield depth — besides Mike Tauchman and Greg Allen, Miguel Andújar and Tyler Wade are the only two Yankees on the 40-man roster with significant outfield experience and who are expected to be at least semi-regularly on the active roster — several of our commenters were happy to have Gardner back. Many noted that, due to the recent injury history of Aaron Judge, Aaron Hicks, and Giancarlo Stanton, relying on these three as the first level of replacements is not something a team aiming for a World Series title should be doing.
The happy feelings, however, were not universal, and several commenters expressed their frustration that Gardner is being brought back. Some complained about the price tag, believing that the Yankees should not spend $4 million on somebody most likely destined to be a backup, given how close they are to the $210 million luxury tax limit that they are stubbornly insisting on staying under.
Clint Frazier fans, on the other hand, have immediately become concerned for his starting job, as the Yankees started Gardner over him in the playoffs last season despite Frazier having a much better year.
Others, however, began to discuss how the roster is going to shake out. Not only do the Yankees have to make room on the 40-man roster for Justin Wilson in addition to Gardner, non-roster invitees Jay Bruce and Derek Dietrich are expected to make series pushes to be bench pieces on the Opening Day roster.
Needless to say, compared to the return of DJ LeMahieu and the additions of Corey Kluber, Darren O’Day, and Justin Wilson, the Yankees’ decision to renew the Gardy Party for another season just does not seem to have generated the same excitement in Yankees Universe. Now that you’ve had a night to think on it, where do you stand on the move, Pinstripe Alley readers? Vote in our poll and tell us your thoughts in the comments below!
How do you feel about the decision to re-sign Brett Gardner?
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DJ, crank up those tunes! Let’s get this Gardy Party going!
So long as he stays away from Frazier’s turtlenecks — and the starting LF job
Gardy’s a good player, but isn’t a good allocation of resources
Gardner is washed up, don’t @ me