Five things to know about the Brett Gardner extension.
1. It’s a four-year contract worth $52 million, but that guaranteed money includes the $2 million buyout for the fifth year. Gardner is actually making $50 million — $12.5 million per year — for the next four years. After that, the Yankees can either pay him another $2 million to buy out the contract or pick up a $12.5-million option for 2019.
2. The deal begins in 2015, so Gardner is essentially signed for the next five years with a team option for the sixth year. Basically the same length of time as the Brian McCann signing.
3. There is not a no-trade clause built into the contract, but Gardner does get a $1 million bonus from the Yankees if he’s traded at any point.
4. Brian Cashman mentioned Michael Bourn’s four-year, $48-million deal with Cleveland as a point of comparison. Bourn and Gardner are similar players, and with the free agent market generating larger contracts year after year, Gardner gets a little bit more money.
5. Because of the rules in the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the extension counts as a new contract that begins next year. Gardner’s current average annual value — in terms of calculating the luxury tax — does not change based on the extension. Gardner is making $5.6 million this season, and Cashman said that’s what the Yankees will be charged in terms of luxury tax calculations for this season. It’s not until next year that Gardner’s AAV will increase.