The New York Yankees signed outfielder Brett Gardner to a four-year contract extension worth $50 million, with an option for a fifth year.

There were talks that Gardner would be on his way out, after the Yankees signed free-agent center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury, an all-star and World Series champion with the Boston Red Sox.

But, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said they had every intention of keeping Gardner. “It’s a demonstration from our end,” he said. “We don’t typically do this, but it shows the level of confidence, belief and trust in the type of person and player he is, and we’re excited to know he’s going to be a part of this thing going forward.”

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A good commitment by the Yankees, as Gardner is a solid role player, with a career batting average of .268, and once on base changes the game with his speed and ability to steal bases. Gardner is also the last position player to come through the Yankees farm system in the past decade, and shows the Yankees wanted him to stay.

“I don’t want to be anywhere else,” Gardner said. “There’s no better place to play baseball than in New York. I’ve never been anywhere else. I got drafted here almost nine years ago and I love it here. I love everybody in the organization, the coaching staff and all my teammates and this where I want to be.”

A seemingly happy ending for the 30-year-old — who will likely play left field and bat ninth — and be playing through the end of his prime for the Yankees.

David Kano is lead MMA writer for TVMix and MMA Show News. Kano will now be covering the sport he first remembers as a child – baseball.

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