From Jack Curry of the YES Network comes word that the Yankees are on the verge of signing outfielder Brett Gardner to a four-year, $52 million contract extension. The deal, which will officially begin in 2015, also includes a $12.5 million club option (or $2 million buyout) for the 2019 season.
Gardner was arbitration-eligible for the third and final time this winter, so the new contract covers four years of free agency (with a possible fifth).
Gardner, 30, batted .273/.344/.416 with 24 steals and 81 runs in 145 games last year for New York.
UPDATE, 1:51 p.m. ET: Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that it’s a done deal.
Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports that the Phillies have placed first baseman Justin Bour on waivers. The Phillies are creating space on the 40-man roster ahead of the Rule 5 protection deadline on Tuesday.
Bour, 30, opened the season with the Marlins but was traded to the Phillies in August in exchange for minor league pitcher McKenzie Mills. Overall, Bour hit .227/.341/.404 with 20 home runs and 59 RBI in 501 plate appearances.
Bour doesn’t really have a spot on the Phillies’ roster considering he is strictly a first baseman and the Phillies already have Carlos Santana. The Phillies may try to trade Santana to move Rhys Hoskins back to first base from left field.
If Bour clears waivers, he can reject an outright assignment to the minor leagues and become a free agent. However, considering how slow-moving the market for bat-only 1B/DH types has been in recent years, Bour may have trouble latching on with a new team on a guaranteed major league contract. If Bour is claimed, the claiming team will be responsible for paying him as he enters his second of three years of arbitration eligibility. MLB Trade Rumors projects Bour to earn a salary of $5.2 million in 2019.