The Yankees did a small bit of roster housekeeping to add Brett Gardner to the 40-man roster so that he could participate in workouts on Tuesday. The veteran outfielder was officially signed to a one-year deal with a player option for 2022. Mark Feinsand has the details of the contract here:
Brett Gardner gets a $1M signing bonus in his deal with the Yankees. Gardner will earn $1.85M in 2021, with a $2.3M player option for 2022 (no buyout). If he declines the player option, the Yankees hold a $7.15M team option for 2022 with a $1.15M buyout. So he's guaranteed $4M.— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) February 23, 2021
To make room for Gardner, the team placed pitcher Luis Severino on the 60-day injured list. This was the most simple transaction expected from the Yankees’ several roster additions of the past month and a half. It was just a matter of time before spring training activities began and GM Brian Cashman would be allowed clear out Severino’s roster spot. The 27-year-old right-hander is coming up on the anniversary of his Tommy John surgery, which he underwent on February 27, 2020. He still has months of rehab left to go until he might be ready to rejoin the Yankees, so the move to the 60-day IL was merely a formality.
At this point, Severino is only throwing fastballs in his recovery process but is planning on moving to more elaborate pitches by next week and throwing bullpens “soon.” His hope is to return ahead of schedule by June or July, though the Yankees aren’t likely to take any extreme chances with his right arm. Time will tell; have intact UCL, will travel.
The Yankees also addressed the roster move to add lefty Justin Wilson to the bullpen. He had been unable to report to Yankees camp at the same time as other pitchers and catchers anyway because the Texas storms caused understandable delays, so they had a few more days to figure that situation out. Jon Heyman has the specifics on the Wilson deal, which includes a player option for 2022 that could lead to a club option for 2023:
Justin Wilson gets $5.15M plus incentives on Yankees deal.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) February 23, 2021
$2,850,000 - 2021
Player Option 2022 for $2,300,000.
If Player Option not exercised, Club option 2022 for $7,150,000 or $1,150,000 buyout.
If Player Option exercised, Club Option 2023 for Minimum + $500,000.
Ultimately, the team decided to designate outfielder Greg Allen for assignment. It was a short Yankees tenure for Allen, who was acquired in January in a minor trade with the Padres for Double-A pitcher James Reeves. Given that he held a 40-man roster spot and was out of options, it was a long shot for him to hang around once Gardner was signed. Allen might be a good defensive player, but his noodle bat (as evidenced by his career OPS+ of 71 in 221 games) meant that he was not even up to the level of Mike Tauchman.
Happy trails, Greg Allen. We knew him so briefly.