Another busy baseball day in New York: Yankees bring back Gardner, Mets ink Porcello

On Thursday, the Yankees re-signed veteran outfielder Brett Gardner, while the Mets picked up former Red Sox pitcher Rick Porcello. (AP Photos)

As baseball’s winter meetings continue in San Diego, the Mets and Yankees are still making busy making moves for 2020.

The Yankees are bringing back veteran outfielder Brett Gardner, re-signing him to a one-year, $12.5 million deal, the Associated Press reported.

Gardner had his best season with the Yankees last year, compiling 28 home runs and 74 RBIs in 2019. After earning $7.5 million last year, the left-handed slugger will get an $8 million salary along with a $2 million signing bonus and a $10 million club option for 2021. The Yankees will pay Gardner $2.5 million next year if they decide not to pick the option up.

Gardner turned 36 in August and is the senior member of the Yankees, having spent his entire 12-year big league career in the Bronx. He has a .260 average, 124 homers and 524 RBIs.

Yankees fans took to Gardner even more last season for his antics that included repeatedly smashing his bat into the dugout roof after called third strikes.

“The constant that he is means a lot to the organization as well as the production on the field,” assistant general manager Mike Fishman said.

Meanwhile, the Mets picked up right-handed free-agent pitcher Rick Porcello from the Boston Red Sox, according to various published reports.

Porcello turns 31 later this month and comes to Flushing on the heels of a terrible season for Boston. Last year, he pitched to a 5.52 ERA, winning 14 games but only striking out 143 hitters in 174 1/3 innings. 

The Mets appear hopeful that Porcello, with a change in leagues and venue, will rebound to his former self. He won 22 games en route to a Cy Young Award in 2016, and another 17 in 2018.

Unlike Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard, Porcello doesn’t have a reputation as a strikeout king. In more than 2,037 innings pitched in his 11 years spent with the Red Sox and Detroit Tigers, he struck out just 1,507 hitters. 

While not in the same stratosphere as the record-setting deal Gerrit Cole got from the Yankees this week, Porcello secured a one-year, $10 million contract from the Mets Thursday, according to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman.

Porcello is the second starting pitcher the Mets signed in as many days; on Wednesday, they inked former St. Louis Cardinal Michael Wacha to a one-year deal for $3 million plus incentives.

With Ronald Blum of the Associated Press