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Yankees keep former College of Charleston outfielder Brett Gardner with $12.5 million deal

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Brett Gardner (copy)

New York Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner will stay with the team in 2020 after agreeing to a one-year, $12.5 million deal on Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019. File/AP

New York Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman talked earlier this week about Brett Gardner's impact on the field and in the clubhouse. He worried about interest from other teams but hoped the Yankees could keep the former College of Charleston outfielder.

But the 36-year-old Gardner picked by the Yankees in the third round of 2005 draft re-upped in The Bronx on Thursday, signing a one-year contract for 2020 worth $12.5 million, the New York Post first reported.

The Holly Hill native will receive a $2 million signing bonus and an $8 million salary for 2020, plus a $2.5 million buyout of a current contract, ESPN's Jeff Passan reported.

The 2019 season was Gardner's best at the plate: 28 home runs and 74 runs batted in with a .251 batting average. He started the year on the bench, getting occasional starts but blossomed as a regular contributor after injuries to outfielders Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Judge and Aaron Hicks.

Gardner started all nine postseason games for the Yankees. He has a .260 career average over 12 Major League seasons, all with the Yankees.

New York looks like the American League team to beat in 2020 after reaching a staggering $324 million deal with former Houston Astros pitcher Gerrit Cole this week.

Gene Sapakoff is a columnist and College Sports Editor at The Post and Courier with focus mostly on Clemson, South Carolina, SEC and ACC athletics. But also golf, the Charleston RiverDogs, Atlanta Braves, Carolina Panthers. And road food.

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