(Would you extend this man? Courtesy of the AP)
It's been a little over a week since the Yankees came out of left field (figuratively) with their 4-year contract extension for Brett Gardner. While the extension drew universally positive reviews for its value relative to Gardner and questions relative to the much steeper price paid to Jacoby Ellsbury, the most important thing to come out of the deal was the new precedent it set for pre-free agency contract extensions for homegrown players. The Yankees have been notoriously bad at locking up their quality young players, a problem created mainly by the lack of impact young players developed over the last 5 years and partially by their adherence to the outdated team policy of not doing extensions.
Cash's declaration that that policy is now dead is welcome news to any Yankee fan hoping to see the team get back to the top of the MLB heap. Gardner has been incredibly valuable since becoming an everyday player in 2010 and he's now locked up through the remainder of his prime. There are 2 other players currently in a similar situation to the one Gardner was in, and it only seems right to see how this new organizational openness to extensions will extend to them as they draw closer to free agency.