The New York Yankees announced Monday that they signed outfielder Brett Gardner to a four-year contract extension.
The new deal begins in 2015 and includes a club option for 2019.
The Yankees did not release financial terms but it has been reported that the deal is worth $52 million. It buys out the first four years of his free agent eligibility. The club option is reportedly worth $12.5 million.
“It’s a demonstration from our end,” Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said Sunday. “We don’t typically do this, but it shows the level of confidence, belief and trust in the type of person and player he is, and we’re excited to know he’s going to be part of this thing going forward.”
Gardner, 30, had a batting line of .273/.344/.416 with 33 doubles, an American League-best 10 triples, eight home runs, 52 RBI, 81 runs and 24 stolen bases in 2013. He has played center field, but with the signing off Jacoby Ellsbury, he will move back to left field.
“I don’t want to be anywhere else,” Gardner said Sunday. “There’s no better place to play baseball than in New York. I’ve never been anywhere else. I got drafted here almost nine years ago, and I love it here. I love everybody in the organization, the coaching staff and all my teammates, and this is where I want to be.”
Gardner has a .268 career batting average with 338 runs, 85 doubles, 33 triples, 23 home runs, 177 RBIs and 161 stolen bases in 620 games over six seasons with the Yankees. He already ranks ninth on the franchise’s all-time stolen bases list.
Gardner is one of three Yankees all-time with at least 45 stolen bases in consecutive seasons, joining Fritz Maisel (1914-15) and Rickey Henderson (1985-86).
The Yankees are 20-3 in games in which Gardner has homered. Eight of his 23 home runs have either tied the game or given the Yankees the lead.
The Yankees’ starting outfield is locked up through 2016. In addition to Gardner and Ellsbury, the club also signed right-fielder Carlos Beltran earlier in the offseason.