The end of February has become a tradition in the entourage of the Yankees. It’s time for the annual soap novel: Is Brett Gardner coming back for another year? The current labor dispute has failed to be an exception.
In the last few days, Gardner’s agent indicated that his client intends to play in 2022. This is the start of the Flames of love. Will the Yankees offer him a one-year contract, as they have for the past three years?
In 2021, we thought it would be the swan song for the oldest in the organization. We expected him to take on a more subdued role, that of a good reservist who would serve as a mentor to the younger ones.
Injuries combined with poor performance changed the game. Gardner was Aaron Boone’s third most used player. And as evidenced by his .222 batting average, he’s been bad.
Now is the time for the Yankees to turn the page. Being healthy and available is not a sufficient argument for him to return. There are other options internally or elsewhere for the future.
If Gardner persists in not hanging his crampons, it’s a shame, but he will have to look elsewhere, which he has always refused to do before. An avenue he is ready to take according to his agent.
Could he find a taker in another organization looking for depth in the outfield? Possible, but I have a feeling the answer will be the same as in New York.