This past offseason, Brett Gardner revealed that he wanted to continue his MLB playing career and that he preferred it be with the New York Yankees.
Unfortunately, the Yankees’ outfield situation didn’t exactly call for a reunion with the 14-year veteran. Aaron Judge, Aaron Hicks, Joey Gallo and Giancarlo Stanton were set to make up the main four-man rotation for the outfield, with Tim Locastro serving as an option off the bench and Ender Inciarte providing depth at Triple-A.
It didn’t take long for fans begin their calls for Gardy, though. Apparently a “We Want Gardy!” chant broke out at Yankee Stadium amid Gallo’s really bad struggles across the season’s first couple weeks. Then Gallo got injured and the speculation truly began … but it didn’t amount to anything. Others on social media have called for the Yankees to sign him to a one-day contract so we could properly say goodbye.
But apparently Gardner has bigger and better ideas. According to reports, the veteran turned down two offers from the Toronto Blue Jays and Atlanta Braves this offseason, which perhaps indicates he’s still holding out hope for a return to the Bombers.
Some might call it loyalty. Gardner might not think returning to the Yankees is a realistic scenario in the cards, but he’d rather not play for another franchise.
Or it could be the 38-year-old knows a time will come when the only team he’s ever known needs help when injuries inevitably strike.
OR … it could be pure delusion. Then again, it’s unclear if the two sides discussed any potential reunion scenarios this offseason, so we wouldn’t go that far.
Former Yankee Brett Gardner rejected offers from the Blue Jays and Braves
Fans knew of Toronto’s interest this past offseason as that buzz popped into the news cycle and sent some Yankees fans spiraling. Gardner on a division rival? The supposed AL East favorites? Nope. Never in a million years. Can’t see it.
Gardner couldn’t either, we guess. But the Blue Jays had a legitimate need for a fourth outfielder after the Randal Grichuk trade with the Rockies (no, Raimel Tapia is not impactful enough to justify regular playing time), so it’s not like this was an attempt at mental warfare. They reportedly offered Gardner $6 million!
The Braves bit is new, however. And it would’ve put Gardy much closer to his hometown of Holly Hill, South Carolina. But his path to playing time was much murkier with Marcell Ozuna, Ronald Acuña Jr., Adam Duvall, Eddie Rosario and Guillermo Heredia in the fold.
General manger Brian Cashman and manager Aaron Boone have kept their responses very formal when asked about Gardner, so nobody really knows what the status is between the two parties.
If we’re to make any assumptions based on Gardner’s offseason decisions, though, it wouldn’t be surprising if he’s working out and staying in shape in anticipation of an opportunity with the Yankees becoming available.