Former Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner rejects big offer from AL East rival

New York Yankees, Brett Gardner

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.

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.

Yankees could bring back veteran outfielder if Joey Gallo is forced to miss time

New York Yankees, Brett Gardner

Just as New York Yankees slugger Joey Gallo was picking up steam, he suffered a left groin injury against the Kansas City Royals over the weekend. As Gallo took off for second base, he felt a bit of tightness which forced the Yankees to make a decision, pulling him prematurely despite his willingness to stay in the game.

Gallo has elevated his batting average to .180, still an abysmal number, but he’s been far more effective in recent days. Gallo has contributed two homers in the past week but still hosts a 42% strikeout rate, a number he desperately needs to decrease if he wants to become a more reliable offensive weapon.

The former Texas Ranger remains confident that the injury won’t hold him back and he can play if needed, but Miguel Andújar looked good in left field on Sunday, meaning the Yankees will likely take it slow with Gallo’s return.

“I’m not concerned at all,” he said. “I think it just tightened up on me a little bit. Just as a precaution, they thought probably early in the season, in the cold, just come out now and not make it worse.”

There’s always a possibility that general manager Brian Cashman brings back Brett Gardner, who still hasn’t found himself a team despite his desire to continue playing this season. Garner will likely get the call if the Yankees pick up any injuries or need to supplement deficiencies, hitting .222 last season with 10 homers and 39 RBIs.

“He’s been a great Yankee, just a very difficult offseason because of the interruption, and you’re drinking out of a firehouse when the lockout gets lifted. The last few years, he’s been someone we’ve waited to deal with until towards the end (of the offseason), and the way it has played out so far, there wasn’t a spot. … He had a player option for this year, so there was a spot. He chose to opt out, and that set up a course of action on how it all started to play out. Other transactions affected things in the current time frame.”

Gardner is 38 years old, though, and it seems as if the Bombers would prefer to roll with younger options like Tim Locastro and Andujar. Locastro has been phenomenal to start the year defensively, and while his average has dropped a .154, a small sample size of action suggests volatile imbalances.

However, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Yankees brought back Gardy at some point in the season to help mitigate fatigue and provide more value in the leadership category. The Yankees currently hold the best record in baseball have won nine consecutive games, including three straight series, but they have a tough matchup against the Toronto Blue Jays starting on Monday, meaning they will need all hands on deck.

Yankees News: Cashman opens up about massive Aaron Judge contract extension, potential Gardner return

New York Yankees, Aaron Judge

One of the reasons the New York Yankees have been quiet this off-season is the impending mega-deal for slugger Aaron Judge. The 29-year-old talent is entering his sixth season in the MLB, coming off one of his best years, hitting .287 with 39 homers and 98 RBIs.

Judge recorded a career-low 25% strikeout rate, showcasing elite offensive capabilities with consistent defensive qualities. Considering the Yankees have already carved out a section for him in their stadium, a big deal was always in the works, but with just one year of service time left before he hits free agency, they want to lock him up sooner rather than later.

According to MLB Network’s Bryan Hoch, the Yankees are gearing up to offer Aaron Judge a massive deal before Opening Day:

Brian Cashman confirms that the Yankees will make an extension offer to Aaron Judge before Opening Day. He would not say if that has already happened.

There is potential for Judge to land a deal as one of the highest-paid outfielders in the game. He would likely fall below Mike Trout, Mookie Betts, Bryce Harper, and teammate Giancarlo Stanton, but the deal would still be significant.

The Yankees are still paying Zack Britton, Aroldis Chapman, and a bevy of aging players. They are counting their pennies and trying to stop themselves from going over the third luxury tax threshold this season. Clearly, they believe they can win with the roster at hand, and given the luxurious names littered across the unit, it’s hard to disagree.

Nonetheless, the team still needs to make a few moves with cost efficiency in mind, which suggests a trade could be in the works before Opening Day.

Here’s a quick Brett Gardner update:

Hoch also mentioned a potential Brett Gardner return:

Brian Cashman has been in contact with Brett Gardner’s agent, but, “right now we’re focused on what we have in camp, to be honest.”

 

Yankees’ division rival targeting Brett Gardner as free agent signing

New York Yankees, Brett Gardner

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.

Yankees News: Brett Gardner return update, Aaron Judge wants him back

New York Yankees, Brett Gardner

Some may say he’s washed, overrated, and simply isn’t worthy of an extension, but most players on the New York Yankees will agree that Brett Gardner brings unparalleled intangibles to the team.

Gardner has consistently seen a decrease in production with age, hitting .222 last season with 10 homers and 39 RBIs over 140 games. He featured a 21.7% strikeout rate and 13% walk rate, but he still offers solid defensive capabilities in the outfield. Given his versatility and depth value, it would be surprising if the Yankees didn’t bring back Gardner on a one-year contract to help fill the back end of the roster.

The Yankees haven’t brought Gardner back the past few seasons as a legitimate starter, but rather a depth piece who can fill a supplementary role due to injury or deficiencies. Unfortunately, the Yankees have had to call Gardner into action far more than they would’ve liked, which is why fans have lashed out at his lack of efficiency as a batter.

There are plenty of players that want Gary to make a comeback, including big slugger Aaron Judge, who is waiting on a monster extension in the coming year.

“I think everyone in this room wants him back,” Judge said, per Brendan Kuty of NJ.com.

“I feel like the past couple of years,” Judge said, “he’s always been the last guy that we’ve signed.”

The Yankees have a loyal relationship with Gardner, as general manager Brian Cashman has waited until the final moments to bring him on before the start of the regular season.

Gardy knows how to take care of his body and prepare for action, meaning he doesn’t need a full spring training’s to get into the flow.

Skipper Aaron Boone also came to his defense, harping on his leadership qualities and what he brings to the roster off the field.

“Love the player,” Boone said, “love the person. He’s been such a force in our room and really helped bring guys along and help guys transition into a leadership role. He’s a complete package. Really good player, spent his entire career in pinstripes. But just a tough, blue-collar, great teammate. Any time you lose that, you miss that kind of stuff.”

I wouldn’t be surprised if Gardy ended up being a great head coach down the line, but for now, the Yankees still view him as a contributing piece and will likely bring him back before the start of the regular season.

Yankees Rumors: The latest on a potential Brett Gardner reunion

New York Yankees, Brett Gardner

The New York Yankees have taken a more cost-efficient route this off-season, solving holes on the roster. While they did consume the contract of Josh Donaldson, which will pay him $50 million over the next two seasons, the Bombers have otherwise been conservative with their approach. The Yankees plugged their shortstop position with Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Anthony Rizzo at first base, passing on Freddie Freeman and Carlos Correa.

However, the outfield still remains a position of need, especially the depth category. While most fans may cringe at the thought of Brett Gardner making a return to the Yankees, the team hasn’t ruled out a potential extension in the coming days as the free-agent market wears thin.

Brendan Kuty of NJ.com believes that Gardner will play in 2022, it’s just a matter of where:

If Gardner had his way, he’d likely already be in pinstripes. His agent, Joe Bick, told NJ Advance Media over the weekend that Gardner wants to play in 2022, and that he’d like to finish his career with the Yankees. But the sides haven’t been able to come to an agreement yet.

Gardner and the Yankees haven’t been able to come to an agreement just yet, as the 38-year-old outfielder is coming off a two-year, $5.15 million deal.

Given the fact of the Yankees have had to supplement injuries constantly in the outfield the past few seasons, Gardner has been thrust into a starting role nearly every year. This past season, Gardner hit .222 with 10 homers and 39 RBIs over 140 games.
He still boasts a solid 13% walk rate, but his strikeout rate has ballooned the past two seasons.
Still providing solid defensive metrics, Gardy at least can hold down the fort in the outfield if need be. However, his offensive contributions are dwindling, as his average has dropped significantly over the past three years. Gardner is still capable of stealing a few bases when called upon, but at 38 years old, preparing to turn 39, age is undoubtedly taking its toll.
A one-year deal worth $2 million might be all he can muster if he is truly willing to play one more year in the Bronx. The Yankees haven’t cleared out his locker just yet in hopes of a potential return, which would suggest it is likely at this point.

New York Yankees: Yankees weekend news roundup, check it out

New York Yankees, Brett Gardner

The New York Yankees and the other 29 teams are still suffering through a lockout that is now 95 days long, with no apparent quick resolution in the offing. MLB canceled more spring training games last week due to not reaching an agreement. Spring training games will not start until March 5 at the earliest. It is evident at this point they will not reach that goal. This week MLB announced that the first two series of the new regular season are canceled.

The big news; No Yankee baseball

After over 100 days of negotiations, the owners and players have installed the universal DH, but not much else. The main issues in a new agreement are as far away as before the negotiations even started. If it isn’t bad enough, the players and owners can’t come to a resolution. We have recently learned that the owners can’t agree on some issues.

On a Zoom call, four owners reportedly voted against the league’s “best and final” offer that the MLBPA turned down before the league’s self-imposed deadline on Tuesday. The Athletic’s Evan Drellich later revealed that those teams were the Angels, Reds, Tigers, and D-backs.

So while the Yankees should be playing spring training games, they are instead working out at local high school fields, as the lockout prevents them from entering minor league fields until a new agreement can be reached. Although no one knows when the new regular season will start, it won’t likely be in April. On his part, Commissioner Rob Manfred has announced that all canceled games will not be made up, putting the entire season in jeopardy.

It’s that time of year, will Brett Gardner return yet again?

Brett Gardner is the longest-tenured Yankee, being the last Yankee to be retained from the 2009 World Series team. He has been with the Yankees since he was drafted in 2005, and 2022 would be his 15th major-league season. “Gardy” has been a mainstay with the Yankees, never being an MVP, but being an All-Star and Gold Glover, he has always been solid for the Yankees.

However, in recent years his star has dimmed, causing the Yankees to reevaluate bringing him back every year. Such is the situation again this season as the Yankees, while in a lockout, try to find ways to improve the team. Gardner has again made it clear that he wants to play another season, and he wants to play that as a Yankee. However, his agent has echoed the same but added that he, now in free agency, will look at returning to any team that values him as a player.

Pitcher Beck Way is working his way up the Yankee ladder

There has been much chatter about Yankees’ prospects Anthony Volpe and Oswald Peraza, mostly due to the team’s need for a new shortstop. There are other Yankee prospects to be examined; one of them is another story about an up-and-comer, earning some pretty hopeful reviews. Yankees pitching prospect Beck Way is described as having “electric” stuff.  The Yankees are hoping that he can even improve further in 2022.

Way has been playing ball for some time but only started pitching full time in his last year of college. He showed flashes of excellence in college, with a fastball that often reached over 100mph. With Yankee coaches working with him this season, they hope he can learn more control and continue developing. Last season, the 22-year-old righty pitched for the Hudson Valley Renegades with a 3.98 ERA.

Trades have won seasons for the Yankees

The Yankees have won many pennants and World Series due to making smart trades before and during winning seasons. This season may end up the same, with their many needs. The Yankees say they are good just the way they are, but that won’t put forward a championship team that likely will fall short yet again.

So, what is general manager Cashman to do after only being an observer during the first half of the postseason? He will have to act fast with all teams looking to add help. Another thing is that after having months to figure out what he will do, he will likely have to look to trades to put forth a winning team.

When the lockout is lifted, the Yankees are going to need: a first baseman, a shortstop, a center field insurance piece, possibly a fifth outfielder, bullpen help, and a number 2 or 3 starting pitcher.

Here is a look at three trades the GM should closely consider: Matt Olson, Merril Kelly, and Ketel Marte. Some moves will only require money. The ones that trades could solve should not be overlooked. Brian Cashman should first get with Billy Beane and the Oakland Athletics. The Yankees have been successful with the A’s before. Get a deal done for first baseman Matt Olson without giving up too many prospects.

With the Yankees’ decision to go big or take the stop-gap avenue at shortstop, that decision should be made quickly. At the moment, that looks to end up a short gap replacement. Get in touch with the Diamondbacks, and talk about Ketel Marte. Marte is a seven-year veteran that can adequately play center, second base, and be a more than average shortstop for the Yankees.

The Yankees could possibly put together a big trade that would include Marte and Merril Kelly, who could solve a starting rotation for the Yankees.

Yankees Free Agency: Brett Gardner reunion heating up with needs in the outfield

New York Yankees, Brett Gardner

The New York Yankees and veteran outfielder Brett Gardner have a special relationship that often relies on loyalty and trust. Last year, when Gardner signed a two-year extension with a player option for the 2022 season, Cashman called Gardy up at his home, asking him if he’d like to come back on another deal with free agency coming to a close.

Of course, the reliable outfielder elected to make a return to baseball, and he ended up playing a big part in the 2021 season due to injuries across the team.

Gardner made 140 appearances, hitting .222 with 10 homers and 39 RBIs. He recorded a 21.7% strikeout rate and 13% walk rate, showcasing his usual patience at the plate but a slight uptick in strikeout percentage compared to the 2019 and 2018 seasons.

Cashman has many different players to consider when the lockout finally comes to an end, ranging from shortstop Carlos Correa to star first baseman Freddie Freeman. If the Yankees are looking to drop big money on a prospective player, they will have to satisfy other needs with cost-efficient contracts.

When looking at shortstop, management is excited about the possibilities of Anthony Volpe and Oswald Peraza, so locking Correa into a 10-year deal at the position might not be their most strategic method. First-base is a bit more flexible, with Luke Voit battling injury last season and Anthony Rizzo hitting free agency after his contract expired.

In addition to both shortstop and first-base, the Yankees need support in the starting pitching rotation and outfield depth, which is where Gardner can make a return.

Aaron Boone currently has Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Joey Gallo, and Aaron Hicks at his disposal in the outfield but lost Tyler Wade, Clint Frazier, and Gardner this off-season.

Joel Sherman of the New York Post spoke to Gardner‘s agent, who indicated that he would like to continue playing in 2022 and prefers to stay with the Yankees for the rest of his career. Gardner has enjoyed 14 years of service in the MLB, and given the significant amount of injuries the Yankees have dealt with in the past, having a reliable backup who can run the bases well and provide above-average defense is always a benefit. However, the Yankees can’t afford for Brett to be a prominent starter moving forward, given his limitations.

Yankees could reunite with old friend in the outfield once again

New York Yankees, Brett Gardner

There’s nothing sexy about the New York Yankees reuniting with old friend Brett Gardner in the outfield, but at the very least, he has proven to be reliable in the health department. Over the last eight years, Gardner has played a minimum of 140 games, aside from the Covid abbreviated season, showcasing he can be relied on to play in the outfield every day.

However, the Yankees would prefer to have a better option starting moving forward, but Gardner does present a bit of value at this point in his career. At 38-years-old, Gardy will be going into his 15th season, given he signs a new contract with the Bombers.

This past year, he featured in 140 games, hosting a .222 batting average with 10 homers and 39 RBIs. While his efficiency has decreased as father time takes hold, Gardner still has leadership qualities and a ton of experience to help his team in multiple ways. Whether it be on the base paths or a supplement to injury, general manager Brian Cashman knows that Brett will answer the call no matter the scenario.

Gardner wasn’t expected to be a focal point in the outfield this past season, but injuries to Aaron Hicks, Clint Frazier, and even Giancarlo Stanton at times forced him into action. With Gardy’s foot speed ranking in the 83rd percentile, per StatCast, he still has a bit of value on the base paths, which can’t go unnoticed. He’s more or less an average defender at this point in his career, which is all the Yankees need for a supplemental and reserve piece.

Most would agree that moving on from Gardner is a positive, but Cashman was unwilling to spend big money before the lockout, so it is possible he retains Brett for one more season on a cheap deal. This past season, Gardner earned $2.3 million with a player option for 2022, which he declined. That left a club option at $7.5 million, which the Yankees rejected as well, making him a free agent through a $1.5 million buyout.

Ultimately, I wouldn’t put it past Cashman to bring him back for one last season on a cost-effective deal. With the outfield still thin after letting Frazier walk in free agency, the likelihood of a reunion with Gardy is probable.

New York Yankees lose another center field option, The Hicks story

New York Yankees, Aaron Hicks

For the 2022 season, the New York Yankees still have questions in center field. The biggest one is if Aaron Hicks can stay healthy this season. Hicks missed most of the 2021 season due to wrist surgery. For the Yankees, Hicks has been an on and off again player, but received a contract extension much to the surprise of many Yankee fans.

After coming from the Minnesota Twins, Hicks has spent the last six years with the Yankees, only playing over 100 games in two of those seasons. Hicks has suffered from several injuries during his time with the Yankees, making who will be playing in center a near constant question. Last year they rehired bench player Brett Gardner who played 140 games for him.

The Yankees have been looking for options in case Hicks can’t stay healthy. One is bringing back Gardner yet again. They also have been scouring the free agency markets. Starling Marte has often been mentioned to play center, but he has been removed from the market when the Mets signed him to a four year contract this past week.

Let’s take a look at Hick’s story. The New York Yankees other Aaron is Aaron Michael Hicks, the Yankees center fielder. Hicks was born on October 2, 1989, in San Padro, California.  Hicks played baseball as a child and for Woodrow Wilson High School in Long Beach, California.  He ranked No. 72 among Top 100 Prospects by MLB.com entering the 2012 season. Ranked as the fourth-best prospect, best defensive outfielder and best outfield arm in the Minnesota Twins’ system by Baseball America following the 2011 season. … Selected by the Twins in the first round (14th overall) of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft.

Hicks stayed in the Twins system for five years until he made his major league debut on April Fools Day 2013.  He was the starting center fielder for the Twins.  He did not impress and was sent down to AAA on August first.  But despite his underwhelming 2013 performance at the plate, he was back up in the majors in 2014 due to his excellent outfield defense. However, his battles at the plate continued, and he was again sent down, this time to AA.  2015 would show a dramatic improvement hitting .256 with eleven home runs and 33 RBIs in 97 games.

After the 2015 season, Hicks was traded to the New York Yankees for catcher John Ryan Murphy.  The Yankees citing an aging Brett Gardner wanted Hicks due to his excellent defense and better than average throwing arm.  The Yankees wanted Hicks for his switch-hitting ability, something the Yankees were sorely lacking  at the time.

In Aaron Hicks, six years with the Yankees, they have not been able to consistently enjoy his abilities in centerfield or at the plate.  During his time back and forth between the Stadium, Trenton, and Scranton Wilkes/Barre, he has shown signs of power behind the plate and excellence in a cannon of an arm in the outfield.

The main obstacle to Hicks showing his stuff is his injury history.  After an injury-plagued 2017 season when he hit .266, he started the 2018 season on the IL with a right Intercostal Muscle Strain. In 2018 he played in 133 games after being reinstated from the DL on April 12 and hit an inside-the-park home run against the Detroit Tigers on the next day. Hicks would hit another inside-the-park-home run against the Kansas City Royals on May 19, becoming the first Yankee since Mickey Mantle in 1958 to hit two inside-the-park home runs in a single season. On July 1, Hicks hit three home runs in one game against the Boston Red Sox which endeared him to Yankee fans. Hicks ended the season with 27 home runs, 79 RBIs, and 119 hits, all career highs.

2019 would be another season marked by three injuries, both back and elbow problems. Those injuries caused him to play in only 59 games.  The elbow became the main issue that caused him to have Tommy John Surgery immediately after the season concluded.  The Yankees decision to keep Brett Gardner on the team reaped its rewards as Gardner had a career year. The absence of Hicks did not hurt the team as a whole, Although his switch-hitting was missed in the lineup.

During the offseason of 2018/2019, the Yankees signed Hicks to a seven-year $70MM contract extension.  They did have Brett Gardner for another season as he signed a one year deal with a 2021 option.  They did this as they need a back up if things don’t go well for Hicks upon his return.  Hicks has been quiet regarding his rehab on his Twitter account.

In a Zoom call in 2020, New York Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman said Hicks will be back in center field in 2020 if he doesn’t encounter any setbacks. He did an played in 54 games. His healthy 2020 was short-lived as he missed most of the 2021 season and in the games his played he could only muster up a .194 batting average and four home runs. In his career with the Yankees over six years he has hit .237 with just over 10 home runs a season.

Like many New York Yankee players, Hick is pretty tight-lipped about his personal life.  We do know that he is supposedly unmarried, but has been going out with a beauty named Jessica Knoles for some time.  There are unconfirmed rumors that they may have been married and had a child together. Photos on the Internet seem to confirm that.