Yankees insider provides hope for Brett Gardner return despite discouraging reports


When a report dropped earlier this week suggesting the New York Yankees hadn’t made an offer or even begun negotiations with Brett Gardner, fans couldn’t believe it.

Everyone was under the assumption that when the Bombers traded Adam Ottavino to the Boston Red Sox, that freed up the necessary cash ($9 million) to bring back Gardy and add another reliever.

Sadly, we’ve gotten nothing but silence or disparaging updates when it comes to Gardner … until now. Perhaps we can put Brian Cashman tip-toeing around the Gardner reunion questions aside and start to think positively.

In his mailbag column on Friday, MLB insider Bryan Hoch answered a question about a potential Yankees-Gardner reunion.

So what’s going on with the Yankees and Brett Gardner in free agency?

"“Gardner has repeatedly said that he hopes to play his entire career in pinstripes, following the examples set by longtime teammates Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera. He also said that he doesn’t want to play his final big league game in an empty ballpark, so it figures that Gardner intends to play in 2021 — even if it’s not for the Yankees“Even if Gardner isn’t in uniform for the first full-squad workout on Feb. 22, I won’t rule out his return. In other words: a Yankees Opening Day roster without Gardner? I’ll believe it when I see it.”"

Let’s be real here: if Gardner plans to play in 2021, there’s just no way he doesn’t suit up for the Yankees … at least that’s how many fans feel. The 13-year veteran deserves a proper send off in the Bronx. He can’t ride into the sunset with no fans in the stands. And he certainly can’t do so after playing for another team. Who would he even sign with?!

Based on the fact that he hasn’t had discussions with any other team, it’s at least clear many realize he’s Yankees property. Perhaps Cashman has a few other moves in mind before he figures out the payroll situation so he can give Gardner as much money as possible within the financial restraints.

The fact of the matter is the Yankees need another lefty bat and could use another outfielder, and they’re not about to rely on big chunks of quality innings from Mike Tauchman and Greg Allen. Plus, if the Yankees do make a World Series run in 2021, we really wouldn’t know how to feel if they did it without Gardner and Masahiro Tanaka.

That’d be devastating.