There may not be a more loyal player than former New York Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner, who refused to join the Toronto Blue Jays this off-season when they offered him a lucrative one-year contract.
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According to Ken Rosenthal of “The Athletic,” Brett Gardner rejected a $6 million offer from the Blue Jays for the 2022 season:
Gardner, 38, turned down a one-year, $6 million offer from the Blue Jays after the conclusion of the lockout, sources said. More recently, the Braves gauged his interest after learning outfielder Eddie Rosario would miss eight-to-12 weeks while recovering from a laser procedure to correct blurred vision and swelling in his right eye. Gardner declined to pursue the opportunity.
The Yankees weren’t even considering offering Gardner a deal that excessive, and he easily could’ve cashed in and played one more season to expand his generational wealth. However, Gardner would prefer to finish his career in pinstripes, and at 38 years old covering 14 professional seasons, his job is done.
With the Yankees struggling through outfield issues the past few seasons, Gardner was forced to supplement injuries and deficiencies. He played in 140 games in 2021, posting a .222 average with 10 homers and 39 RBIs. He earned a 13% walk rate and a .327 on-base percentage.
The Blue Jays clearly viewed him as a potential starter if need be, but also as a quality reserve player who can play multiple positions in the outfield. While the Yankees haven’t re-signed Gardner just yet, if injuries mount at some point in the 2022 campaign, I wouldn’t be surprised if they gave him a call and brought him back to finish the season.