Yankees sign Gardner to one-year, $2.8M deal

Brett Gardner bats against the Pittsburgh Pirates at

Brett Gardner bats against the Pittsburgh Pirates at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Florida. (March 3, 2010) (Credit: Getty Images)

The Yankees signed outfielder Brett Gardner to a one-year, $2.8-million contract Friday, avoiding an arbitration hearing next month.

The salary was the midpoint between Gardner's filing of $3.2 million and the Yankees' submission of $2.4 million.

Gardner, 28, has become a valuable member of the Yankees' starting lineup. In 2011, he had a .345 on-base percentage and a .369 slugging percentage in 588 plate appearances. He batted .259, had 49 stolen bases in 62 attempts and played exceptional defense in leftfield.

With Gardner signed, the Yankees have two arbitration-eligible players remaining. Catcher Russell Martin wants $8.2 million; the Yankees have offered $7 million. Lefty reliever Boone Logan asked for $2.1 million against the Yankees' $1.7 million.

In other news, catcher Jesus Montero was scheduled to fly from Florida to Seattle on Friday for his physical examination with the Mariners. Montero had been slowed by a problem with his visa and bad weather in Seattle. The Yankees and Mariners soon will announce the trade sending Montero and Hector Noesi to Seattle for pitcher Michael Pineda and minor-league pitcher Jose Campos.

Jorge Posada and the Yankees are working to schedule Posada's retirement news conference for next week at Yankee Stadium. Posada, 40, decided to conclude his career as a Yankee only rather than keep playing for another team.

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