Brett Gardner

Brett Gardner

40-Year-Old OutfielderOF
 Free Agent  
2024 Fantasy Outlook
There was no outlook written for Brett Gardner in 2024. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
RANKS
Rest of Season
From Preseason
$Signed a one-year, $2.85 million contract with the Yankees in February of 2021. Yankees declined $2.3 million team option for 2022 in November of 2021.
Intends to play in 2022
OFFree Agent  
February 26, 2022
Gardner intends to play during the 2022 campaign, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports.
ANALYSIS
The Yankees declined Gardner's contract option in early November, and the 38-year-old wasn't able to land another deal prior to the lockout. Gardner's agent said that the outfielder hopes to remain with the Yankees in 2022, but he'd also consider signing with another team. Gardner appeared in 140 games last year and slashed .222/.327/.362 with 10 homers, 47 runs, 39 RBI and four stolen bases.
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Brett Gardner See More
Bernie on the Scene: Intriguing Young Prospects We Should Know
November 1, 2021
Bernie Pleskoff continues his analysis of prospects at the Arizona Fall League, including Kody Hoese, who was drafted by the Dodgers out of Tulane in 2019.
DraftKings Sportsbook: Best Wild Card Bets
October 4, 2021
James Anderson provides his best bets for the two Wild Card games, including a fun prop bet backing the Dodgers strong pitching.
DraftKings MLB: AL Wild Card Game Breakdown
October 4, 2021
Mike Barner previews Tuesday's AL Wild Card contest between old rivals Boston and New York.
DraftKings MLB: Monday Breakdown
September 20, 2021
Mike Barner recommends exploring a Brewers bat stack Monday against St. Louis.
AL FAAB Factor: Waiver Pickups of the Week
September 19, 2021
Erik Siegrist sifts through the waiver options in the American League as the Rays prepare to call up their next potential ace.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
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2009
It'll be interesting to see if Gardner gets another summer in the sun as a big leaguer. As he nears 40 years old, his profile has degraded to the point that he's producing like a bad catcher. Not one physical trait (power, speed, batting eye) is at a career-low mark, but they're all close. The combination had him posting his worst OPS (.689) since 2010. If he doesn't retire, he'll be a part-time outfielder and likely unrosterable in traditional fantasy baseball leagues.
After posting a career-best 17.5 AB/HR in 2019, Gardner paired a mediocre 26.0 AB/HR with a career-worst .223 batting average last season, taking him almost entirely off the fantasy radar. It was clear that his 2019 was nowhere close to repeatable and indeed we saw a reversion to the typically power-deficient outfielder's career norm, though it's worth noting that Gardner's flyball rate (21.9%), average exit velocity (89.2 mph) and hard-hit rate (36.5%) all actually increased, so it does not seem like Gardner is completely toast as a baseball player. Gardner probably won't ever get close to the 28 homers he hit in 2019 ever again, and his declining contact skills and speed on the basepaths figure to make the 37-year-old mostly a platoon player moving forward. The veteran posted an elite 16.5 BB% last season and remains a solid defender, but if he's not in the Bronx, it's probably best to look elsewhere.
Gardner swiped 10 bases in 2019 to extend his streak of double-digit steals to seven seasons, but the big story was his emergence as a power hitter, as he blew past his career highs in home runs (28), slugging percentage (.503), OPS (.829) and ISO (.253). Statcast evidence suggests that Gardner's transformation was the result of a purposeful attempt to lift the ball in the air more effectively and more often. He continued to fall below league average with a 34.0 Hard% and an average exit velocity of 87.2 mph, but set career highs with a 38.2 FB%, a 46.2 Pull% and an average launch angle of 13.6 degrees. He returned to the Yankees on a one-year, $12.5 million deal with a team option for 2021. With Aaron Hicks sidelined to start the year, Gardner should get steady playing time, profiling as an underrated late-round outfielder capable of producing double-digit steals and 20-plus home runs.
For the fourth time in five seasons, Gardner supplied double-digit home runs and steals and scored more than 85 runs, but his fantasy utility took a dip due to a .236 average, his worst showing in his 11 MLB seasons. While it's easy to place blame on a BABIP that was nearly 40 points below his career mark, Statcast credited Gardner with a .218 xBA, with the decline in his quality of contact suggesting he was fortunate his average was as high as it was. Gardner's struggles resulted in him ceding work to Andrew McCutchen in the playoffs, but the 35-year-old should reclaim at least a strong-side platoon role in left field to begin the upcoming campaign. For a player his age, Gardner has been remarkably durable and hasn't lost a step -- he ranked in the 92nd percentile last season in Statcast Sprint Speed -- but his slide at the dish puts him at serious risk of losing plate appearances in 2019 and forfeiting his familiar leadoff role when he starts.
Gardner set a new career high in home runs last season, tripling his total from 2016, while also swiping 20-plus bags for the seventh time in 10 MLB seasons. He exceeded 600 plate appearances for the fifth consecutive season, continuing his run of great health. The bad news: Gardner struggled in a major way against left-handed pitching (.209/.299/.291) and his .322 overall xwOBA was pretty much middle-of-the-pack, according to Statcast. Most indicators point to Gardner being largely the same player he's been for years, but if you subscribe to the "new ball" theory, something close to this level of power should be sustainable. Playing half his games at new Yankee Stadium helps in that regard. He figures to continue on as the Yankees' near-everyday leadoff hitter in 2018.
A brutal month of May had Gardner flirting with the Mendoza Line through two months into the season, but the 33-year-old was able to recover and finish the season with reasonable numbers. After a surprise boost in power the last two seasons, the left fielder reverted back to more of his contact-hitting ways and totaled just seven home runs. Gardner also only stole 16 bases, representing a third straight year of decline in that department. On the plus side, he continued to demonstrate a terrific eye and posted a 0.66 BB/K that helped contribute to a .351 OBP. That, along with Jacoby Ellsbury's struggles, led manager Joe Girardi to move Gardner to the leadoff spot for the majority of the year -- a spot where he actually drove in more runs than when hitting second. As he's set to return as the starter in left field; expect more of the same.
Gardner built on a strong 2014 campaign by getting off to an even better start in 2015, slashing .302/.377/.484 with 10 homers and 15 steals in the first half en route to earning his first All-Star selection. The bottom fell out after the All-Star break though, as the 32-year-old was among the worst qualifying batters, hitting just .206 the rest of the way while losing the speed element of his game. The second half decline would be concerning anyway, but after hitting just .218 with a dip in stolen bases after the break in 2014 also, manager Joe Girardi expressed his fear that Gardner may be burning himself out in the beginning of the season. The end result had the lefty putting up a career-low 20 steals and another sub-.260 batting average, but his power remained — finishing just one homer shy of his career high. Gardner will return as the everyday left fielder and number two hitter.
In many ways, Gardner's 2014 was a carbon copy of his 2013, but fantasy owners were pleased with the one major difference – power. With 23 career home runs through his first 2,200 big league plate appearances, Gardner never flashed signs of being a threat to hit double-digit home runs. Last season, he racked up 17 long balls, a total that exceeded his previous two healthy seasons combined. Upon further review, it's easy to bet against a repeat. Seven of those home runs were of the "Just Enough" variety, and not surprisingly, his HR/FB rate soared from 5.7% in 2013 to 11.0% last season (career 6.5%). There is a stable skill set here that can generate 80-plus runs and 20-plus steals with relative ease, but don't pay for a line from Gardner that will require double-digit home runs to be profitable.
Gardner had an oddly disappointing fantasy season in 2013. His .277 average was consistent with what he's shown since his initial emergence in 2009, and he set a career high in home runs with eight, but Gardner produced just 24 steals, roughly half his total from each of his 2010 and 2011 seasons. He didn't seem to lose anything from a speed standpoint, and it's unclear whether he was conserving himself in an attempt to avoid the injuries that plagued him in 2012, or if there was a philosophical change about his basestealing. Gardner remains an elite defensive player, and seems likely to retain his playing time in the Yankees' outfield, but there are questions as to whether he will rebound back to a 40-steal level.
Fantasy owners who were counting on Gardner to be their major source of speed were sorely disappointed in 2012, as he missed the bulk of the season with an elbow injury that he aggravated repeatedly just as he seemed to be on the verge of returning. Gardner comes with some risk, as he didn't really have the playing time to show that his swing had recovered from the injury, but he still has the patience and speed that made him such a valuable contributor during his last three healthy seasons (2009-11). He could come at a bargain in 2013 drafts as a result of last season's missed time.
Gardner gives fantasy owners plenty of speed, leading the American League with 49 steals in 2011 after swiping 47 bags in 2010. He's got some shortcomings in his game that limit his value, but his excellent defense in left field should keep him in the lineup even when he slumps offensively. Gardner drove in only 36 runs in 2011, and saw his batting average drop 18 points to .259. Although his contact rate improved to 82 percent, he's unlikely to be an asset in the batting average category given his combination of skills and batted ball profile. Gardner has committed to working with hitting coach Kevin Long to improve his timing, and we saw what working with Long did for Curtis Granderson in 2011, but expect most of his value to come from steals and runs scored again this season.
Some questioned the Yankees' decision to enter 2010 with Gardner as their starting left fielder, but the experiment produced better results than probably even the team expected. Gardner played 150 games, stole 47 bases, was very sound defensively and made up for his lack of power with some impressive plate discipline (13.9 percent walk rate, .383 OBP). With potential Yankee free agent target Carl Crawford now in Boston, Gardner will again be the team's starting left fielder in 2011. You'll need to monitor his recovery from a December wrist surgery, but he's a player on the rise playing in a strong offense.
The Yankees outfield situation is unsettled heading into spring training, leaving Gardner's role uncertain, much like it was heading into last season. He’ll likely have a shot at the center-field job heading into spring training after showing improved plate discipline in 2009, raising his OBP from .283 to .345. The added productivity at the plate gave him more opportunities to flash his best skill – speed – en route to 26 steals in 31 tries. He’d been a dynamite source of steals if given semi-regular playing time, though fantasy owners would have to sacrifice some power numbers to take advantage.
Things seemed to click for Gardner at Triple-A during the first half of 2008, which ultimately resulted in his callup to the Yankees for a look in left and center field down the stretch. Given that Melky Cabrera has seemingly fallen out of favor with the Yankees, Gardner has an opportunity to put himself in the mix for outfield at-bats again with a strong showing in spring training. Between New York and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Gardner stole 50 bases in 60 attempts over 136 combined games, but speed is by far the most valuable aspect of his skill set. With no power to speak of, he'll need to get on base at a much greater clip than the .283 mark he posted last season in order to fully take advantage of his speed, though it's worth noting that his minor league track record suggests potential for some improvement.
More Fantasy News
Becomes free agent
OFFree Agent  
November 4, 2021
Gardner's option for the 2022 season was declined Thursday, and he is now a free agent.
ANALYSIS
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Doubles, swipes base
OFNew York Yankees  
September 25, 2021
Gardner went 1-for-3 with a double and a stolen base in Saturday's 5-3 win over the Red Sox. He also drew a walk.
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Knocks three-run blast
OFNew York Yankees  
September 17, 2021
Gardner went 1-for-3 with a three-run home run and a walk in Friday's 8-0 win over Cleveland.
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Collects three hits
OFNew York Yankees  
September 15, 2021
Gardner went 3-for-4 with a double, two RBI and a run in Wednesday's victory over the Orioles.
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Out of lineup
OFNew York Yankees  
September 14, 2021
Gardner will sit Tuesday against the Orioles.
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Latest Fantasy Rumors
Turns down multiple offers
OFFree Agent  
May 13, 2022
Gardner has turned down opportunities to sign with Toronto and Atlanta recently, Bryan Hoch of MLB.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Gardner and the Yankees were working on a deal in mid-February, but he so far has remained unsigned a month into the season. He turned down a $6 million contract offer from the Blue Jays and declined an opportunity with Atlanta, signaling that he's likely exclusively interested in returning to the Yankees if he continues his MLB career.
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