Gard­ner, Yan­kees fi­nal­ize $12.5M, 1-year con­tract

The Saratogian (Saratoga, NY) - - SPORTS -

NEW YORK (AP) >> Out­fielder Brett Gard­ner and the New York Yan­kees fi­nal­ized his $12.5 mil­lion, one-year con­tract on Satur­day.

New York agreed to the deal Dec. 13 dur­ing the win­ter meet­ings, and the 36-year-old took a phys­i­cal on Tues­day.

His ad­di­tion, fol­low­ing last month’s $324 mil­lion, nine-year con­tract with pitcher Ger­rit Cole, raised the Yan­kees’ pro­jected lux­ury tax pay­roll to about $248 mil­lion — the thresh­old where the high­est lux­ury tax rate starts.

Gard­ner gets 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.

New York opened a ros­ter spot by des­ig­nat­ing left-han­der Stephen Tarp­ley for as­sign­ment.

Gard­ner earned $7.5 mil­lion last sea­son plus a $2 mil­lion buy­out af­ter New York de­clined his $12.5 mil­lion op­tion for 2019 un­der his pre­vi­ous con­tract. He hit .251 and set ca­reer highs with 28 homers and 74 RBIs, a rare left

handed bat in a Yan­kees lineup dom­i­nated by righthande­d hit­ters.

Gard­ner is the se­nior mem­ber of the Yan­kees, hav­ing spent his en­tire 12year big league ca­reer in the Bronx. He has a .260 av­er­age, 124 homers and 524 RBIs.

He is ex­pected to see time in cen­ter field dur­ing the first half of the sea­son while Aaron Hicks re­cov­ers from off­sea­son Tommy John surgery, then shift back to left when Hicks re­turns.

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