The COVID-19 pandemic has put the MLB season in jeopardy. But the 2020-21 free agency season will happen and the New York Yankees have some decisions to make.
There are six key New York Yankees that will be free agents come next offseason in some way, shape, or form. Among the six, some of their contracts contain options that will affect the decision-making process. Other contracts expire whether the player or club likes it or not.
Some teams signed key players to one-year deals this offseason; potentially paying players who will never suit up for them.
The Dodgers, for instance, just acquired Mookie Betts from Boston, and it’s possible he won’t even get the chance to play for them and end up leaving this winter. Yankees GM Brian Cashman luckily is not in that situation, but he still needs to take this situation seriously. The Bronx Bombers can use it to get an upper hand on these other teams and be the clear-cut World Series favorites again in 2021.
As for their chances to get re-signed or not, and why they should or shouldn’t, here’s all you need to know:
Brett Gardner – outfield
Gardner’s $12.5M contract for this year comes with a $10M club option for 2021. The club option that the New York Yankees agreed to shows that the team is interested in keeping Gardner for a little while longer, at a slightly lower salary, as long as he continues to produce.
The upside with Brett Gardner is his veteran leadership, excellent defense, and great wheels, despite him being 36-years-old. His speed’s still well above average, so much so that he could probably swipe 30 bags this year if Yankees manager Aaron Boone were more open to sending runners. As long as he can maintain his solid production, Gardner will spend an additional year in pinstripes.
The Yankees have plenty of outfield options at the Major League level, but he’s still one of the 10 best center fielders in the world. Garner takes good care of his body so he somewhat easily projects to continue producing in 2021 as well.