Yankees officially bring back Gardner on one-year deal

Brett Gardner will play his 14th season for the Yankees in 2021.|Art or Photo Credit: AP

The New York Yankees announced that they have re-signed outfielder Brett Gardner to a one-year contract for the 2021 season with a player option for 2022. If the player option is declined, there is a club option for 2022.

Gardner, 37, hit .223 (29-for-130) with 20 runs, five doubles, one triple, five home runs, 15 RBI and 26 walks in 49 games with the Yankees in 2020. With his 2020 season debut, he became the 18th Yankee to play in at least 1,500 games for the franchise. He also became the 17th player in Yankees history to appear in a game for the club in three different decades (credit: Elias). In six postseason games, he hit .368 (7-for-19) with six runs, one double, one home run, three RBI and four walks.

In 1,548 career games over 13 Major League seasons (2008-20), Gardner owns a .259 (1,384-for-5,350) batting average with 896 runs, 235 doubles, 69 triples, 129 home runs, 539 RBI, 639 walks and a .343 on-base percentage. Among all outfielders in franchise history, his 37.5 WAR ranks ninth (FanGraphs).

An AL All-Star in 2015 and Gold Glove Award winner in 2016, Gardner joins Derek Jeter, Don Mattingly, Thurman Munson and Jorge Posada, as one of only five players drafted and signed by the Yankees to collect at least 1,000 hits with the club, and one of only seven to hit 100 home runs in pinstripes. Gardner’s 270 career stolen bases rank third on the Yankees’ all-time list, trailing only Derek Jeter (358) and Rickey Henderson (326).

A native of Holly Hill, South Carolina, and an alum of the College of Charleston, Gardner is the longest-tenured current Yankees player, having been drafted by the club in the third round of the 2005 First-Year Player Draft prior to making his Major League debut in 2008. He is one of only seven players to appear for the same team in each of the last 13 seasons (2008-20), joining Ryan Braun (Milwaukee), Miguel Cabrera (Detroit), Alex Gordon (Kansas City), Clayton Kershaw (Los Angeles-NL), Yadier Molina (St. Louis) and Joey Votto (Cincinnati). He would be the 17th Yankee to play for the club in at least 14 seasons and the 15th to do so in 14 consecutive seasons.

In both 2016 and 2017, Gardner was the Yankees’ nominee for Major League Baseball’s Roberto Clemente Award.

To make room on the 40-man roster, RHP Luis Severino was placed on the 60-day injured list.