No matter how old Brett Gardner gets and how disinterested the New York Yankees seem to be, he always somehow manages to find his way back to the Bronx wearing the pinstripes at the beginning of every season.
After the 2021 season concluded, the Yankees rejected their team option, making Gardner a free agent once again. Gardner earned $5.1 million over the last two years, are the Yankees bought him out at $1.1 million to save a bit of cash.
General manager Brian Cashman hasn’t signed Brett to be a primary starter the past few seasons, but due to injury, he has been injected into a more prominent role that has required him to play significant games. Last year, he featured in 140 contests, posting a .222 average with 10 homers and 39 RBIs. It is quite clear that Gardy is witnessing a massive drop off in production as a result of age.
Nonetheless, a division rival of the Yankees has inquired about his services; the Toronto Blue Jays, according to Joel Sherman of MLB Network.
The Yankees are planning to get Aaron Hicks back in the outfield and could feature Estevan Florial and Ender Inciarte as their depth options. Gardner still offers quality defensive value and solid base running, but the team may be looking to move on based on his regression.
With Toronto featuring a heavy right-hitting lineup, adding a veteran outfielder with a lefty bat could be in the cards. However, Gardner has made it clear he would like to finish his career with the Yankees, so if anything, Cashman will once again bring him back on a minimum contract.