Nearly a month after the sides agreed to terms, the Yankees on Saturday announced the signing of Brett Gardner to a one-year, $10 million contract with a club option for 2021.
Gardner, 36, enters the 2020 season as the starting centerfielder after Aaron Hicks underwent Tommy John surgery in October. Hicks is not expected back until midseason at the earliest.
In 2019, Gardner hit .251 with 28 home runs, 74 RBIs and an .828 OPS in 141 games. He set career highs in home runs, RBIs and slugging percentage (.503).
Gardner is the longest-tenured Yankee. His contract, which was agreed to on Dec. 12, includes a $10 million team option for 2021 with a $2.5 million buyout, so Gardner is guaranteed to make at least $12.5 million. He earned $9.5 million in 2019, when he played more than expected because of Hicks’ injuries.
To make room for Gardner on the 40-man roster, the Yankees designated lefthanded reliever Stephen Tarpley for assignment. Tarpley, 26, went 1-0 with a 6.93 ERA and two saves in 21 appearances for the Yankees last season.