There was a split second where the New York Yankees parting ways with Brett Gardner was a possibility, but of course, the veteran outfielder and his career club found a way to re-connect. Last week, the Yankees officially signed Gardner back on a one-year deal with a club option for 2022.
At 37 years old, Gardner will likely impact the team as a depth player, as skipper Aaron Boone has already stated that Clint Frazier will likely start in left field this season. While Gardy has a hard time believing he wonâ€™t be playing every day anymore, he will fight for reps regardless.
During the off-season, Brett waited patiently for the Yankees to offer him a new deal, but he was open to the idea of exploring free agency, despite the fact that he preferred to return to the Bronx.
â€œI wouldnâ€™t say [I did] a lot of exploring,â€™â€™ Gardner said of his free agency. â€œObviously, it took a long time for things to work out, but I was hopeful the whole time. Iâ€™ve never been shy about wanting to finish my career here. I was asked from the get-go to be patient and I was patient.â€
Clearly, things worked out in his favor, as Gardner will earn $5.15 million for the 2021 season, a bit less than the $10 million he wouldâ€™ve earned if the Yankees picked up his option for this year.
When Gardy was asked about his new two-year deal, and if it could be his last, he responded with:
â€œIâ€™d say thatâ€™s pretty safe,â€ Gardner said.
â€œWeâ€™ve been talking about this for the last two to three years,â€ Gardner said of the end of his career. â€œIâ€™ll obviously be 38 in August. There are no guarantees. You never know whatâ€™s around the corner, never know what to expect.â€
If Gardy was to retire today, he will have played 13 straight years for the Yankees, with his inception coming in 2008. He has proven to be an elite defender and a consistent base runner, utilizing his speed. We hope Gardner has never been a slugger, he had a career-high 28 HRs in 2019.
Finishing his career in pinstripes has always been his dream, and it seems like it will come true sooner rather than later.