It seemed to be a matter of time before Brett Gardner ended up returning to the New York Yankees. His locker was still there in spring training. The Yankees’ outfield depth was questionable, and considering the tenuous health of all parties involved, Gardner was expected back in short order.
While Gardner has been waiting, other teams have had interest. The Blue Jays not only had been looking to bring him in as a veteran depth option in their outfield, but had reportedly offered him a $6 million deal as well. The Braves also reached out to Gardner’s representatives about his services after Eddie Rosario was lost due to eye surgery.
Brett Gardner will be a lifetime member of the New York Yankees
But Gardner said no. Not only did he turn down the Blue Jays’ offer, but he refused to engage in conversations with the Braves. If he is going to return this year, it will be as a member of the Yankees. Otherwise, Gardner is more than content to sit on his couch and enjoy his downtime.
At this point, the Yankees do not need Gardner. Both Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton have been impressive with the bat. Aaron Hicks is getting on base and has remained healthy. While Joey Gallo has been a dumpster fire since heading to New York, the Yankees feel that he will eventually turn his performance around.
If not, or if any injuries occur, Gardner will be waiting. He has made his position clear at this point – if he is going to return to the majors, he will be wearing pinstripes and taking his familiar place at Yankee Stadium.
Frankly, this is where he belongs. Gardner has spent his entire career in the Yankees organization, and when he does hang up the cleats, is likely to be immortalized in Monument Park. It would not be a surprise to see his number 11 be retired considering what he has meant to the franchise. Instead of collecting one last paycheck elsewhere, Gardner is keeping that loyalty to the Yankees.
Brett Gardner has had offers to continue his career but he has turned them down. If he plays again, it will only be for the New York Yankees.