Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Yankees, Brett Gardner agree to deal

The Yankees announced Sunday that they had signed Gardner, 30, to a four-year contract extension worth $50 million, with a club option for a fifth year.

A $2 million buyout clause if the Yankees decide not to exercise the option brings the total value of the deal to $52 million. Gardner does not have a no-trade clause, but the Yankees are obligated to pay him an additional bonus of $1 million in the event they do trade him.

So with big commitments to Ellsbury, Beltran and now Gardner, does this mean that Alfonso Soriano is once again available?

Bitter Calculus Instructor Posted: February 23, 2014 at 06:58 PM | 51 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: yankees

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Joey B. is being stalked by a (Gonfa) loon Posted: February 23, 2014 at 09:06 PM (#4661186)
Say, speaking of the Yankees, is A-Roid down there in Tampa taking part in spring training? ROTFLMAO.
   2. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: February 23, 2014 at 09:07 PM (#4661187)
A deal worth $52M/4 looks like a bargain for the Yankees. Gardner is going to be 31 in late August; did he think it was unlikely that he could get more than four years in free agency?
   3. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 23, 2014 at 09:13 PM (#4661190)
Seems like, a reasonable deal for both sides. Salaries appear to be going up for everyone -- except for a few qualifying offer guys saddled with draft choice compensation, and it would probably cost more to re-sign or replace Gardner if they had waited a year until he hit free agency. Gardner's defense is a real asset in Yankee Stadium's spacious left field, too. Good deal for Gardner in that he should be set for life without waiting for free agency and another year of injury risk. Much of Gardner's value is related to his speed, and a serious leg injury might leave him scrambling for a job as he entered free agency. Win-Win.
   4. Pleasant Nate (Upgraded from 'Nate') Posted: February 23, 2014 at 09:26 PM (#4661196)
Age 31-34 seasons for Gardner I would think don't project so well.
   5. Heinie Mantush (Krusty) Posted: February 23, 2014 at 09:33 PM (#4661199)
I think this is really just a steal for the Yankees. Gardner's WAR is probably a little illusory insofar as it's inflated by being a CF in LF, but those runs saved are real (if that makes any sense?) and that should put him over the top on this deal.

Gardner's not too hot to trot a player on the face of it: 275/345/390ish with plenty of steals and defense. He's also not super athletic overall and he's heavily reliant on his big plus tool (speed), so he's really one injury away from just being a guy who can work a walk. He's a good bet to decline from 31-34, but then he's also the kind of guy WAR loves (again, a CF playing LF) so he's got a good chance of at least making a go of his $/war. I also don't know how his "new approach" figures into how he might age, so I'll leave that aside.

All that having been said, there's something about Gardner that really reminds me of Brett Butler, and that would bode very, very well for the Yankees.
   6. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 23, 2014 at 09:40 PM (#4661205)
Age 31-34 seasons for Gardner I would think don't project so well.

In "Yankee years", Gardner is practically a rookie.
   7. John DiFool2 Posted: February 23, 2014 at 10:14 PM (#4661218)
Say, speaking of the Yankees, is A-Roid down there in Tampa taking part in spring training? ROTFLMAO.


Avoid the A-Roid?
   8. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: February 23, 2014 at 10:14 PM (#4661219)
I actually didn't realize Gardner was that old already.
   9. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: February 23, 2014 at 10:23 PM (#4661226)
I LOVES me some "Slappy", so I'm glad everyone came to a deal here, even if it is probably an overpay.
   10. Walt Davis Posted: February 23, 2014 at 10:24 PM (#4661227)
On the surface, this is a ridiculous steal for the Yanks. Gardner's been worth over 15 WAR in 3 years full-time play and, even calling 2010 a fluke, we're still talking a 4 WAR player. In theory that should be worth heaps. In practice, guys like him don't get paid all that well. It's not entirely clear he brings more to the table than Crisp or (a younger) David DeJesus.

OK, using fairly specific criteria -- ages 26-29, OPS+ 97-107, dWAR>=3, OBP > .45*OPS, 50% games in OF, 1500+ PA, expansion era -- I get this pretty good comps for Gardner: Bourn, Erstad, Flood and Geronimo. This group did not age well (WAR, 30+):

Flood 7.5
Erstad 4.5
Bourn 2.4 (just one season so far but not a great start)
Geronimo 1.5

Of course Flood had lots of extenuating circumstances -- those WAR came at ages 30-31 then he sat out 32 and called it quits early in age 33.

Dropping my criterion to try to pick up high OBP players expands the comp group (Blair, Finley, etc.) up to 11. Except for Finley (27.4), this group didn't age any better. Flood is 2nd after Finley and only Pagan (5 WAR in 2 years) joins Bourn as a current guy still doing OK.

I didn't expect him to have comps that did that badly. The Yanks will be happy I suppose if they get at least 10 WAR out of this deal but it doesn't look like a great bet (Flood would have likely made it, Pagan's got a decent shot). Makes Pagan's 4/$45 contract look a lot more sensible than it looked at the time. Not that Pagan wasn't good just that it was hard to think who else would have given him that good of a deal.

Man the back half of Grissom's career was just blah. 4700 PAs but just 4 WAR from 30-38. 21 WAR, 16 oWAR from 25-29, then he just forgot how to hit and by the time he remembered the defense was not so good. And that age 38 season of 147 PA and -2.2 WAR is one for the ages.
   11. jdennis Posted: February 23, 2014 at 11:13 PM (#4661241)
Do they have the balls to waive Ichiro?
   12. Lassus Posted: February 23, 2014 at 11:37 PM (#4661246)
I thought people would be howling about this deal. I guess I haven't been paying attention to how decent Gardner was.
   13. Best Regards, President of Comfort Posted: February 24, 2014 at 12:12 AM (#4661260)
I thought people would be howling about this deal. I guess I haven't been paying attention to how decent Gardner was.


It's because his value is largely tied up with OBP, baserunning and defense. It doesn't stand out.
   14. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 24, 2014 at 12:37 AM (#4661270)
If you need an OF next winter, here are your best FA options:

Nelson Cruz
Nori Aoki
Michael Cuddyer
Melky Cabrera
Torii Hunter
Colby Rasmus
Seth Smith

Oh and Alfonso Soriano is available. Good luck!
   15. akrasian Posted: February 24, 2014 at 12:42 AM (#4661272)
If you need an OF next winter, here are your best FA options:

Nelson Cruz
Nori Aoki
Michael Cuddyer
Melky Cabrera
Torii Hunter
Colby Rasmus
Seth Smith

Oh and Alfonso Soriano is available. Good luck!


Wouldn't shock me if the Dodgers had one on the trading block by then. Looks like a good time for them to make a move.
   16. Walt Davis Posted: February 24, 2014 at 12:46 AM (#4661276)
Do they have the balls to waive Ichiro?

Why would they want to do that? Ichiro is a good fit as 4th/5th OF -- ideally a RHB as 4th OF given G and E are LHB. Waiving him doesn't save any money, he's still a good defender and baserunner. But, sure, if Ichiro is toast and they have a better no-cost option, he'll be gone (whether waived, retired with buyout, mysteriously DL'd, traded to Seattle for a swan song). I'm not sure why anybody would think the Yanks would have a hard time with this -- they had no problem showing Bernie the door, they had no problem easing Posada out, nary a tear was shed over Cano's departure and they probably didn't even send Vernon Wells a Christmas card this year.

I'm not quite sure what the Yanks plan is at the moment though. Presumably G/E/B with Soriano at DH most of the time. I guess maybe Beltran gets enough days off at DH with Ichiro in RF but the rotation sure works a lot better if Soriano or Gardner can play RF ... which I don't think either really can. (Or is Gardner's arm better than I recall.)
   17. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 24, 2014 at 01:45 AM (#4661301)
. . . but the rotation sure works a lot better if Soriano or Gardner can play RF ... which I don't think either really can. (Or is Gardner's arm better than I recall.)

Gardner's arm is OK, but some of that is technique - he does a good job of getting to the ball and coming up throwing. Ideally, you'd want a better arm for RF, but Gardner covers a lot more ground than Beltran or Soriano these days, so it might be worth flip-flopping Gardner in some road parks where RF is bigger than LF, but teams don't seem to do that much anymore, as if it would be impolite to publicly acknowledge some OFers cover less ground than others.
   18. Squash Posted: February 24, 2014 at 02:09 AM (#4661307)
I thought people would be howling about this deal. I guess I haven't been paying attention to how decent Gardner was.

FWIW, this deal has finally sunk into me how much money is in baseball.
   19. Walt Davis Posted: February 24, 2014 at 03:17 AM (#4661313)
Nelson Cruz
Nori Aoki
Michael Cuddyer
Melky Cabrera
Torii Hunter
Colby Rasmus
Seth Smith


Sounds like a good winter to be Colby Rasmus.

Gardner covers a lot more ground than Beltran or Soriano these days, so it might be worth flip-flopping Gardner in some road parks where RF is bigger than LF, but teams don't seem to do that much anymore, as if it would be impolite to publicly acknowledge some OFers cover less ground than others.

I'm thinking more along whether they can/will go Sori/Ells/Gardner with Beltran or Jeter at DH every so often when guys need rest or does every Beltran game at DH mean Ichiro in RF and Soriano on the bench? (which would mean only against RHP) Or even whether they'd make that the regular OF with Beltran closer to a full-time DH.
   20. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: February 24, 2014 at 08:41 AM (#4661331)
my first thought re: this deal is that there are no more positional Yankees with significant trade value. If Tanaka is a bust and CC doesn't return to dominance, they have no pieces that I can think of to package for a SP.

Also, I believe Gardner is the last positional player to be a fulltime MLB player with the Yankees from their system.
   21. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: February 24, 2014 at 08:45 AM (#4661333)
Last time I heard, Soriano really hates to DH. I don't think Beltran has ever done it for longer than a few days. If Rod plays in 2014 at all, I simply don't know how they can get enough ABs to go around. I really like Gardner, but with the signing of Smellsbury, I think this deal really reduces positional flexibility to near-zero.
   22. Blastin Posted: February 24, 2014 at 08:47 AM (#4661334)
A-Rod is not playing in 2014.

Soriano and Beltran will deal with DHing on occasion.

Smellsbury? Are you eleven?
   23. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: February 24, 2014 at 08:52 AM (#4661336)
Soriano will play some LF. Some of those games will be when Ellsbury gets a day off and Gardner plays CF. Some will be when Gardner gets a day off. Most will be Beltran's DH days, and Gardner can handle RF well enough for those. At any rate, when Beltran DHs against a RHP, there's nothing all that wrong with having Soriano on the bench, and if Ichiro is really "fine" as a 4th/5th OF, then he's got to play sometimes.
   24. RMc's desperate, often sordid world Posted: February 24, 2014 at 08:55 AM (#4661337)
I LOVES me some "Slappy"

Attention, please: the Cool Kids in Class have announced that the phrase "I loves me some..." is No Longer Cool and should be deleted from all conversations, on and off-line, immediately. We thank you for your cooperation.
   25. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: February 24, 2014 at 08:57 AM (#4661338)
Attention, please: the Cool Kids in Class have announced that the phrase "I loves me some..." is No Longer Cool and should be deleted from all conversations, on and off-line, immediately


Thank God.
   26. DKDC Posted: February 24, 2014 at 09:01 AM (#4661340)
Nick Markakis could be a free agent next winter too. His contract has a $17.5 million team option for 2015 that Markakis can void (but the Orioles will likely decline).
   27. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: February 24, 2014 at 09:02 AM (#4661341)
It seems like a strange overreaction to last year, when they didn't have the horses to compete. Now they have lots and lots of horses in the OF/DH - former All-Stars one and all. But they have a shortstop who is only young in geological years, a 33-year old 1B who missed just about all of last year (and is complaining about the wrist already), a 2B who hasn't played 100 games in five years, and no 3B in particular. If Brian McCann needs to DH for a week or two to rehab some small injury, they are sitting someone who probably shouldn't sit.

This offseason doesn't make a lot of sense to me. The Ellsbury signing makes extremely little sense when you already have Gardner.

Is Travis Hafner still on the team?
   28. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: February 24, 2014 at 09:16 AM (#4661343)
Attention, please: the Cool Kids in Class have announced that the phrase "I loves me some..." is No Longer Cool and should be deleted from all conversations, on and off-line, immediately. We thank you for your cooperation.


What #25 said.

I am again free to turn my laser-like focus to ridding the world of "going forward."
   29. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: February 24, 2014 at 09:30 AM (#4661347)

I am again free to turn my laser-like focus to ridding the world of "going forward."


I detest how the phrase "he needs to get untracked" someone means "he needs to start playing better". If you are going off track then you would think that would lead to shitty play.
   30. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: February 24, 2014 at 09:32 AM (#4661348)

I detest how the phrase "he needs to get untracked" someone means "he needs to start playing better". If you are going off track then you would think that would lead to shitty play.


I read this as exactly the opposite. Sometimes you have "comfortable" 0-4 days; you fall into bad habits. It's a lot easier to hit badly than to hit well. So I figured that "the track" is bad and that breaking out of it is good.
   31. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: February 24, 2014 at 09:44 AM (#4661351)
Yes, but if you're "on track", it generally means you're making progress, and therefore performing. So being "untracked" would be the opposite.

   32. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 24, 2014 at 09:53 AM (#4661355)
my first thought re: this deal is that there are no more positional Yankees with significant trade value. If Tanaka is a bust and CC doesn't return to dominance, they have no pieces that I can think of to package for a SP.

If CC and Tanaka are busts, they're screwed anyway. Why trade one of your best players for a SP stopgap?

It's also not even clear this hurts Gardner's trade value. He's a steal at $12.5M.
   33. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: February 24, 2014 at 10:01 AM (#4661359)
Unless they changed it, you can't trade a player in Year One of a multiyear deal. The Yankees can't trade him at all in 2014, right?
   34. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 24, 2014 at 10:06 AM (#4661360)
Unless they changed it, you can't trade a player in Year One of a multiyear deal. The Yankees can't trade him at all in 2014, right?

I don't think that's true any longer.

Didn't the Red Sox trade Arroyo for Wily Mo Pena about 3 hours after extending him?
   35. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: February 24, 2014 at 10:09 AM (#4661361)
I think the limitation on trading a recently signed player only applies to incoming free agents. For example, I believe the Yanks can't trade Ellsbury until something like July 15 this year but Gardner they can trade whenever they want.
   36. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: February 24, 2014 at 10:11 AM (#4661363)
Yes, but if you're "on track", it generally means you're making progress, and therefore performing. So being "untracked" would be the opposite.



Exactly.

I read this as exactly the opposite. Sometimes you have "comfortable" 0-4 days; you fall into bad habits. It's a lot easier to hit badly than to hit well. So I figured that "the track" is bad and that breaking out of it is good.

If you are performing poorly then you are in a rut. Which also happens when you go off the tracks.
   37. DL from MN Posted: February 24, 2014 at 10:13 AM (#4661364)
The whole on track/off track/untracked gets used wrong quite a bit because nobody travels by rail anymore.
   38. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 24, 2014 at 10:18 AM (#4661366)
The whole on track/off track/untracked gets used wrong quite a bit because nobody travels by rail anymore.

There have been enough fatal derailments in the news of late that people should know going off the tracks is berry, berry bad.
   39. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: February 24, 2014 at 10:44 AM (#4661376)
After watching Cuban defectors Aledmys Diaz and Odrisamer Despaigne work out, the Yankees aren’t going to offer the shortstop or right-handed pitcher contracts.

Diaz was supposedly expected to get a $20-30 million deal when everything settles out, I think the money was better spent on this Gardner extension.
   40. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: February 24, 2014 at 11:46 AM (#4661396)
This whole thread has gone off track, and I loves it.
   41. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: February 24, 2014 at 12:11 PM (#4661411)
I am again free to turn my laser-like focus to ridding the world of "going forward."

When you have finished, can you join me in my jihad to do the same with describing players or teams with any variant of "to grind" going forward?
   42. eddieot Posted: February 24, 2014 at 12:13 PM (#4661413)
I am again free to turn my laser-like focus to ridding the world of "going forward."

I will take care of "at the end of the day" then. Thanks.
   43. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: February 24, 2014 at 12:20 PM (#4661420)
Also, I believe Gardner is the last positional player to be a fulltime MLB player with the Yankees from their system.

Well, at least you didn't say "will be".
   44. DL from MN Posted: February 24, 2014 at 12:26 PM (#4661427)
I guess I'll turn my attention to "laser-like focus"
   45. Dale Sams Posted: February 24, 2014 at 12:40 PM (#4661441)
I guess I'll turn my attention to "laser-like focus"


When will science cure, "Actually..."? Are we just wasting our money?
   46. bigglou115 Posted: February 24, 2014 at 12:43 PM (#4661443)
If this is were we complain about weird phrases that bug us, I submit "I don't believe in X." Drives me nuts when someone says something like, "I don't believe in computers." You don't get a choice as to whether or not you believe in computers, they exist.
   47. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 24, 2014 at 12:50 PM (#4661446)
Also, I believe Gardner is the last positional player to be a fulltime MLB player with the Yankees from their system.


If the Jays go with Izturis at 2B instead of Goins, Adam Lind will be the only projected starter from the organization.
   48. Bitter Mouse Posted: February 24, 2014 at 12:59 PM (#4661453)
I loves me some irony, so going forward I am going to turn my laser like focus on eliminating wasteful phases such that at the end of the day English will be a language which you can use to grind out value, leveraging its strengths and better able to stay untracked. Because I don't believe in idiomatic speech.
   49. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: February 24, 2014 at 01:19 PM (#4661472)
I guess I'll turn my attention to "laser-like focus"


Which of course I used knowing full well that it's become a cliche. Couldn't quite remember the exact wording, since I don't believe I've ever used it before; hope I got it right.
   50. dr. scott Posted: February 24, 2014 at 05:22 PM (#4661639)
I would just like to say that the tightest focus is not from a laser, but just a conventional x-ray source with a really special lens...

http://www.nature.com/srep/2013/131220/srep03562/full/srep03562.html

Tight focus comes easier from short wavelength than really spectrally pure diffraction limited laser beams... as x-ray lasers are still really hard.

edit: diffraction limited is more accurate than TEM(00)
   51. Zach Posted: February 24, 2014 at 08:33 PM (#4661750)
I guess I'll turn my attention to "laser-like focus

I haves me some friends who develop tabletop x-ray lasers. I remember one conversation where they observed "You know, this light we're getting out is too coherent. We're wasting our time trying to focus it. We should really think about making x-ray holograms, instead."

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Darren
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-18-2014
(20 - 3:06pm, Apr 18)
Last: What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face?

NewsblogOT: NBA Monthly Thread - April 2014
(309 - 3:05pm, Apr 18)
Last: tshipman

NewsblogRB: Carlos Beltran: more of a center fielder than Mickey Mantle, Ty Cobb or Duke Snider. So what?
(23 - 3:04pm, Apr 18)
Last: Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora

NewsblogEscape from Cuba: Yasiel Puig’s Untold Journey to the Dodgers
(11 - 3:03pm, Apr 18)
Last: You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR)

NewsblogDaniel Bryan's 'YES!' chant has spread to the Pirates' dugout
(88 - 3:03pm, Apr 18)
Last: andrewberg

NewsblogOTP April 2014: BurstNET Sued for Not Making Equipment Lease Payments
(1637 - 3:00pm, Apr 18)
Last: A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose)

NewsblogDoug Glanville: I Was Racially Profiled in My Own Driveway
(270 - 2:56pm, Apr 18)
Last: Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October

NewsblogFletcher: Foes have slowed Trout in one category so far - steals
(4 - 2:55pm, Apr 18)
Last: Shredder

NewsblogDesign Room: Top 10 Logos in MLB History.
(68 - 2:53pm, Apr 18)
Last: Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October

NewsblogNY Daily News: Secret Service Threatened To Shoot Mr. Met
(11 - 2:32pm, Apr 18)
Last: Gamingboy

NewsblogOMNICHATTER FOR APRIL 18, 2014
(13 - 2:14pm, Apr 18)
Last: Sunday silence

NewsblogChris Resop - The Most Interesting Reliever in the World
(21 - 2:05pm, Apr 18)
Last: I Am Not a Number

NewsblogOT: The Soccer Thread March, 2014
(891 - 2:00pm, Apr 18)
Last: J. Sosa

NewsblogMitchell: Now Playing First Base for the Yankees
(41 - 1:54pm, Apr 18)
Last: Sunday silence

NewsblogOrioles launch D.C. invasion with billboard near Nationals Park
(26 - 1:33pm, Apr 18)
Last: Joey B. is being stalked by a (Gonfa) loon

Demarini, Easton and TPX Baseball Bats

 

 

 

 

Page rendered in 0.6609 seconds
53 querie(s) executed