NEW YORK -- No matter where Brett Gardner winds up playing in 2014, he will be making twice as much money as he did last year.
New York Yankees
Gardner and the Yankees agreed on Friday to a one-year deal for 2014, avoiding arbitration, and sources confirmed to ESPNNewYork.com that Gardner will be paid $5.6 million, nearly twice as much as the $2.85 million he was paid in 2013. There is still a chance, however, that the Yankees will trade Gardner before the season, especially if they fail to land Japanese free-agent pitcher Masahiro Tanaka, due to their glut of outfielders.
Gardner, who batted .273 with eight home runs and 52 RBIs last season, became potentially expendable when the Yankees signed Jacoby Ellsbury, like Gardner a speedy center fielder, and Carlos Beltran this winter. Gardner, 30, is one of the few tradeable chips on the Yankees' roster or in their farm system. Although the Yankees have said publicly they have no intention of trading Gardner, it is likely he could be included in a package for a starting pitcher if they fail to sign Tanaka.
Gardner led the Yankees with 24 stolen bases last season and his .344 on-base percentage was second only to the departed Robinson Cano's .383 among Yankee regulars.