On October 29th, 2020, The New York Yankees declined team options on longtime Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner and former all-star starting pitcher JA Happ. Both Happ and Gardner will now hit the market as free agents.
The End of an Era
While Happ may not have had the best career in pinstripes, the same can not be said against Brett Gardner who had one of the most memorable careers in the last century. Gardner spent the entirety of his 12-year career with the Yankees. During his time in the Bronx, Gardner played a combined 1,548 games, 129 home runs, 539 RBI’s, and 270 stolen bases. Brett Gardner was also an all-star in 2015, gold glove winner from 2016, and in 2009, Brett Gardner was a major part of the World Series team. Brett Gardner was a fan favorite among Yankee fans for years. Whether it be because of his small frame that packs a punch. Or his unstoppable speed, Brett Gardner is a Yankee you will remember.
While Brett Gardner will be remembered for his amazing and lengthy tenure as a Yankee, Happ will not. JA Happ arrived in the Bronx in the middle of the 2018 season, a season in which he was named to his first, and so far only, all-star team. The Yankees traded for Happ to provide the much-needed pitching help they needed if they wanted to take down the powerhouses of the East such as the Red Sox and Astros. Following the 2018 season, the Yankees gave Happ a three-year extension worth 17 million dollars a year annually. However, Happ never panned out to be what the Yankees hoped he would. In his two and a half years with the Yankees, Happ recorded 21 wins to 10 losses and an ERA of 4.13. Happ and Gardner will now be free agents and are free to sign with any team they wish to.
The outfield situation for the Yankees is in good shape. The Yankees already have Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Clint Frazier, Miguel Andujar, and Estevan Florial in the minors. So the Yankees outfield situation is perfect and ideal. And in terms of starting pitching. The Yankees are in need of help so they will most likely go after someone in free agency. But for now, the era of Brett Gardner and JA Happ is over.