Gardner, 30, is young by Bombers' standards and has excelled as a starter over the past four seasons. And with a career park-adjusted 97 OPS+, 10.3 percent walk rate, 161 steals (an 80.9 percent SB%) and 84 defensive runs saved (DRS) in the outfield, Gardner is undoubtedly a valuable asset.
Yet, in less than a three-month period since signing Jacoby Ellsbury, which subsequently incited hoopla surrounding Gardner's future with the organization, per the Star-Ledger's Andy McCullough, the southpaw went from seemingly expendable to a core organizational mainstay. Given the extreme variance, it only makes one wonder: What could have changed the Yankees' mind about Brett Gardner?
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