How about a Brett Gardner reunion, Yankees fans?
When the New York Yankees declined Brett Gardner’s $10 million team option for the 2021 season, many assumed it was the end of an era. Gardy’s been with the Bombers for 13 seasons after being a homegrown talent and is the last remaining member from the 2009 World Series team.
But the fact of the matter is that the Yankees have a stacked outfield with Aaron Judge, Aaron Hicks, Clint Frazier, Giancarlo Stanton (if he can play defense) and Mike Tauchman (if he rebounds after a poor 2020). Why spend money to address a position of surplus?
Good question. It’s likely because the Yankees view Gardner much more as an outfielder. He’s a clubhouse leader, influential veteran voice, and an experienced major league who can impart wisdom on this relatively young roster. His run in New York has been long enough that he can help just about anyone handle the spotlight.
So it’s no surprise that the two sides are still interested in a reunion.
General manager Brian Cashman recently talked about how he’d love to have Gardner back while Gardner’s agent, Joe Bick, seemed optimistic about a return in 2021. This is as concrete a development as we’ve had all offseason since the words are coming straight from the sources.
What’s even more telling? Cashman has been brutally honest since the 2020 season came to a close. Everyone heard what he had to say about Gleyber Torres and Gary Sanchez as well as his brevity on anything concerning Masahiro Tanaka. If he’s got this to say about Gardy, we’d like to think fans can remain optimistic.
I mean, look at the relationship he’s forged with the young guys! From bashing the top of the dugout roof with his bat, to stealing Clint Frazier’s turtle neck, to pouring out all of Tyler Wade’s beloved condiments, how could the Yankees not bring him back even in an extremely limited role for 2021?
If this latest update of sorts tells us anything, it’s that the Gardy Party might be on in the Bronx for next season.