Sunday, February 23, 2014

Brett Gardner and the Yankees have agreed to terms on a four-year, $52 million extension with the Yankees, says YES Network's Jack Curry. The new deal includes a 5th year club option for $12.5 million or a $2 million buyout.

The extension won't start until 2015, meaning he will still be paid his 2014 salary of $5.6 million.

"I don't want to be anywhere else," Gardner said. "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's extension does not include a no-trade clause, but we will get a $1 million bonus if traded at any point.

The Yankees don't typically give out contract extensions to players, but did try to negotiate with Russell Martin before the 2012 season, and also tried talking with Robinson Cano during last season. Neither player came to an agreement with the Yankees on an extension, and left the Bronx via free-agency.

"It's a demonstration from our end," Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said. "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."

This deal obviously eliminates any talks of the Yankees using Gardner as a trade chip to get a pitcher.

But even throughout the trade talks, Brian Cashman has been a big supporter of Gardner, and never really wanted to move him. Back in December, the Yankees reportedly shot down a trade proposal from the Cincinnati Reds that would have sent Gardner to the Reds for Brandon Phillips, straight up.

After locking up Jacoby Ellsbury on a seven-year, $152 million deal this winter, it seemed like the Yankees were ready to trade, or let Gardner walk after this season.

"Free agency is something that, it kind of intrigued me, and it also kind of scared me," Gardner said. "It's probably the biggest decision I ever had to make in my life. I put a lot of thought into it, but at the end of the day, it's a lot of money.

"Where I come from, that money or twice that much money, I'm not going to change the way I live my life."

Gardner said that his hope is to remain with the Yankees for the rest of his career, and retire as a one-team player, just like his former teammate Mariano Rivera, and soon-to-be former teammate Derek Jeter.

"It's meaningful being able to play for New York, and hopefully one day I can retire and say that I didn't play for another team," Gardner said. "I think that would be awesome. There's definitely a lot more media to deal with on a daily basis, and it seems like a lot more on the line day in and day out, but it's something that I enjoy and it's something that I take a lot of pride in. I love putting on these pinstripes every day."


Gavin Ewbank is the Lead Writer of Yanks Beat Blog, and you can follow him on Twitter @GavinEwbank.


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