Brett Gardner and the Yankees are moving closer to a renewal of their long-standing relationship.
An industry source confirmed the Yankees made a new offer to the free-agent outfielder, as first reported by Jon Heyman of the MLB Network. The offer was extended Friday morning.
While the two sides have not yet reached the finish line, they are very much headed in the right direction. The 36-year-old Gardner, who was drafted and developed by the Yankees and has spent 12 seasons with the big league team, doesn’t want to play anywhere else.
And the Yankees need Gardner, coming off one of his best seasons, not only to fill the center field void in light of Aaron Hicks’ Tommy John surgery that will delay his start to the 2020 season, but also to add his leadership skills in light of his good friend and de facto co-captain CC Sabathia’s retirement.
Gardner made $7.5 million in 2019 and is a lock to get a raise from that.
General manager Brian Cashman said he has remained in touch with the representatives for Gardner and the team’s other free agents: reliever Dellin Betances, shortstop Didi Gregorius and catcher Austin Romine.
“In each of these cases, they’re…