There is a lot of doubt as to whether or not Brett Gardner’s last game with the Yankees was in the Wild Card game between the Boston Red Sox. This game was held on October 5, 2021 and ended in a Yankees loss of 6-2. Is Brett Gardner’s Reign with the New York Yankees Over? This is a question that will linger until something happens, if anything, between Gardner and the Yankees.
Here is some stats on Brett Gardner’s career, along with the options Gardner has for his future.
Gardner was drafted by the Yankees as the 109th pick in the third round back in 2005. His first official season was in 2008 where he played 42 games, with a.228 batting average. In the 2021 season, Gardner played 140 games with an average of .222. His entire career was spent on the Yankees, having played 1,688 regular-season games and 68 postseason games. His career playoff average is .211. These numbers alone sound horrible, but don’t be fooled.
According to Bryan Hoch of MLB.com, Gardner ranks among the all-time franchise leaders in defensive wins above replacement or WAR (ninth), triples (tied for eighth), stolen bases (third), stolen-base percentage (fourth) and hit-by-pitch (eighth). He also won several awards including being part of the 2009 World Series Champions, along with winning several MLBPAA Yankees Heart and Hustle Awards. He won American League Player of the Week a few times as well. Gardner has had his moments where he shined, but will this be the end?
Player Options, Club Options, Family
Having spent an entire career with the same team doesn’t happen often. Also, more championships are expected with a tenure as long as Gardner’s. According to a statement Gardner made in October, Gardner feels the same way stating, “As a young player, you don’t know that you’re going to be here for 14 years.” He also said, “I don’t want to say you take it for granted, but with the team we had back then in 2009 and the team we had going into 2010 … you think you’re going to go there [to the World Series] every year.”
On Thursday, Gardner declined the player option on Thursday, valued at $2.3 million and the Yankees declined the club option, valued at $7.15 million with a $1.15 million buyout. With Garner’s long tenure, he talks about how it has affected the time spent with his kids stating, “This game has been great to me and great to my family. The longer you play and the older your kids get, the harder it gets, and the more things I missed out on, not being able to see them back home doing their thing. It’s harder to be together all the time.”
Gardner also mentions that he feels healthy and strong, where he can continue to play at a high level, but would have to see where the following weeks and months ahead lead.
Since Gardner is now free agent, there are a few things that can take place for him in the near future. First, the Yankees can still sign him, but it really isn’t looking good. Second, Gardner could be on the trading block. The Yankees may try looking for a good outfielder to make up for what they would lose. Since Gardner can play all outfield positions, the Yankees may try to find an outfielder who can do it all. Lastly, Gardner may just retire.
Whatever happens during the offseason, one question will remain: Is Brett Gardner’s reign with the New York Yankees over? If so, it has been a crazy ride. There is not really any downside if Gardner’s run ends. He can always spend time with his family. Plus, there just may be a manager position for him somewhere down the road.
Featured Image Courtesy of thekingsource.com
Stats Courtesy of MLB.com
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