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Brett Gardner, New York Yankees agree to 4 year, $52 million contract extension

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Reports on Twitter indicate that Yankees and Brett Gardner have agreed to a four year contract extension with a fifth year option

Al Messerschmidt

Brett Gardner, New York Yankee outfielder...for several more years.

Gardner reportedly is on the verge of signing a four year, $52 million contract extension that includes a fifth year option worth $12.5 million with a $2 million buyout.

Gardner signing an extension makes an already very weak free agent class for the 2014-15 offseason that much weaker.  Hanley Ramirez is expected to also sign an extension, which means that the best of the free agent position players are likely to be Pablo Sandoval and Chase Headley.

The best free agent outfielders next season may be Nelson Cruz, who just signed a one year deal, and Alex Rios, if the Rangers decline his team option.  Colby Rasmus and Chris Young are probably the best of the remaining outfielders.

This is part of a growing trend of teams locking up their guys before they hit the market, and we are starting to see fewer and fewer impact talents hit the open market nowadays.