Yankees, Brett Gardner avoid arbitration with one-year deal

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No word yet on the money, but Brett Gardner and the Yankees have avoided arbitration with a one-year contract.

Gardner missed all but 16 games this year because of an elbow injured suffered in April and was arbitration eligible for the second time after making $2.8 million in 2012.

Prior to the injury he was an elite defensive left fielder and a dynamic player at the bottom of the Yankees’ lineup, getting on base at a .360 clip and stealing 45 bags per 150 games from 2009-2011. He’ll be under team control again in 2014 before becoming a free agent at age 30.

UPDATE: Gardner signed for $2.85 million.

Reds sign outfielders Mason Williams and Rosell Herrera to minor league deals

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The Reds picked up outfielders Mason Williams and Rosell Herrera on minor league deals, MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon reports. Both Williams and Herrera will receive invites to spring training and could compete for backup outfield roles behind Adam Duvall, Billy Hamilton and Scott Schebler.

Williams, 26, completed a three-year track with the Yankees in 2017. He has yet to see a full season of playing time, however, and went 4-for-17 with two stolen bases during a five-game span with the club in 2017. While not a power hitter, his speed and steady contact rate produced a .263/.309/.318 batting line over 437 plate appearances in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, including two home runs, three triples and 19 stolen bases.

Herrera, 25, has yet to make his big league debut. After seven years in the Rockies’ system, he finally reached Triple-A Albuquerque in 2017 and slashed .278/.351/.394 with three home runs and 20 stolen bases in 363 PA. He looks most comfortable in the left field corner, but has some experience at shortstop and third base and should give the Reds a nice utility option come spring.