The New York Yankees have announced that they’ve reached a one-year contract with outfielder Brett Gardner, thus avoiding arbitration, reports Bryan Hoch of MLB.com:
Yankees announce they have agreed on a one-year deal with OF Brett Gardner, avoiding arbitration.— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) December 7, 2012
The Yankees paid Gardner $2.8 million last season, but he probably didn’t earn much of a raise on this figure considering he played in only 16 games. The outfielder was limited to 31 at-bats due to an elbow injury.
In 2011 Gardner hit .259/.345/.369 with 19 doubles, eight triples, seven home runs and 49 stolen bases in 62 attempts over 510 at-bats. The 29-year-old was the Yankees regular left fielder that season and he’s a candidate to reclaim that role in 2013.
Last season New York used several players in left field, including Ichiro Suzuki, who was acquired from the Seattle Mariners. While Suzuki manned left and hit atop the team’s order over the second half of last season, he’s reached free agency and isn’t guaranteed to return.
The Yankees are also expected to lose Nick Swisher via free agency so they will likely remain in the market for an outfielder even after reaching an agreement with Gardner.
The Yankees are left with four unsigned arbitration eligible players, including Joba Chamberlain, Phil Hughes, Boone Logan and David Robertson.