Free-agent outfielder Brett Gardner, the New York Yankees‘ longest-tenured player, will remain with the team after reaching a one-year, $12.5 million deal, a source confirmed to ESPN’s Buster Olney on Thursday.
The deal breaks down with Gardner getting a $2 million signing bonus and an $8 million salary for next season. The Yankees have a $10 million option for 2021 with a $2.5 million buyout, a source told ESPN’s Jeff Passan.
Gardner made $7.5 million last season. The New York Post first reported the agreement.
His agreement, added to the pending nine-year, $324 million contract with pitcher Gerrit Cole, raises the Yankees’ projected payroll for the luxury tax to about $257 million — $9 million above where the highest surtax starts.
The 36-year-old Gardner, a rare lefty in a Yankees lineup dominated by right-handed hitters, recorded his best season in 2019, when he hit .251 with a career-high 28 homers and 74 RBIs.
“The constant that he is means a lot to the organization as well as the production on the field,” assistant general manager Mike Fishman said.
Gardner originally was slated to be the Yankees’ fourth outfielder last season, but he was called on to start 141 games…