Brett Gardner turned down chance to play with Yankees rival

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No Yankees fan can ever question Brett Gardner’s loyalty. The longtime outfielder made one thing clear this offseason — he bleeds pinstripes.

At 38 years old, Gardner doesn’t have many years left in MLB, if any. While he’s hoping to be a midseason addition for his beloved Yankees at some point soon, it’s unclear if New York really wants to the extra help.

After the lockout ended, Gardner reportedly had a chance to sign not with New York, but with another AL East team — the Toronto Blue Jays. Gardner couldn’t fathom playing with a rival, so he declined a deal worth $6 million. All of this is via Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic:

“Gardner, 38, turned down a one-year, $6 million offer from the Blue Jays after the conclusion of the lockout, sources said. More recently, the Braves gauged his interest after learning outfielder Eddie Rosario would miss eight-to-12 weeks while recovering from a laser procedure to correct blurred vision and swelling in his right eye. Gardner declined to pursue the opportunity.”

MLB rumors: Brett Gardner garnering interest around the league, will Yankees bite?

Gardner declined both the Blue Jays and Braves, two teams many think are destined for the playoffs. Atlanta, of course, just won the World Series last season.

So, what is the veteran waiting for?

From the outsider’s perspective, it looks as though it’s Yankees or bust for Gardner. He’s spent so long with one team, what’s the point of playing anywhere else?

Gardner slashed .261/.351/.441 in the season’s final two months in 2021, making an otherwise pedestrian statline look a little better. Should New York suffer an outfield injury, then perhaps he could get another chance.

But for now, the Yanks are willing to take their chances without him.

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