The last “hoorah” for New York Yankees esteemed leader Brett Gardner should be with the final pitch of the 2019 World Series. The script is written and it’s likely his final chance to take advantage of an illustrious career with the men in Pinstripes.
Gardner signed a one-year contract to remain with the Yankees for 2019, a deal worth $7.5 million. He will be a free agent moving forward, and at the back-end of his career, Gardner and the Yanks will likely take different paths. The Bombers’ leader was replaced by Andrew McCutchen last season due to a consistent cold-streak that saw his batting average dip to .236.
The 11-year veteran has been a great hitter for the Yankees throughout his career, earning a career BA of .261. He’s known for forcing pitchers to rack up their pitch count and tiring them out for the core of the lineup. He was once the perfect lead-off man before age inevitably caught up with him. Being that he’s in his potential final season, Gardner could rise to the occasion in a do-or-die year for a World Series. He did bat .264 in 2017.
A beloved player inside and out:
The Yankees’ clubhouse has been revolutionized by the passion and confidence of their primary leader, and the fan-base has fed off of his grit and constant hustle. Losing him would be a blow to the stomach, but I have a funny feeling we might see him as a coach one day.
Injuries present opportunity:
Additionally, with Aaron Hicks struggling through injury at times, Gardner will get his fair share of the burden. His blazing speed remains and selfless defense is as present as ever.
I would anticipate that this not only could be Gardner’s last season with the Yanks, but possibly his career. Hopefully, he goes out on his terms tossing the glorious trophy in the air.