Brett Gardner 'definitely' still planning on playing in 2021: report

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Brett Gardner with bat upside down in hand
Brett Gardner with bat upside down in hand

The Yankees are the only MLB team that Brett Gardner has ever suited up for, but the 37-year-old currently finds himself a free agent, with his playing career seemingly still up in the air.

According to Jon Morosi of MLB Network, Gardner is “definitely” still planning on playing in 2021, which would be his 14th season at the big-league level.

Gardner was in a similar situation last season, reaching free agency before ultimately signing back with the Yankees on a one-year deal worth $12.5 million. And it proved to be the right choice by the Yankees to bring him back, as Gardner started 34 games in left field and another 10 in center field.

The veteran slashed just .223/.354/.392 in 2020, but the Aaron Judge, Aaron Hicks, and Giancarlo Stanton all dealing with a string of injuries over the past few seasons with Stanton practically limited to DH duties, Gardner has been a steadying presence in the lineup, even if his numbers aren’t the best.

The Yankees have had a fairly quiet offseason compared to some of their more extravagant ventures in years past, but they have signed perennial MVP candidate DJ LeMahieu to a new, long-term deal, while adding Jameson Taillon and Corey Kluber to the rotation.

If Gardner does indeed want to keep playing in 2021, it would seem logical that the Yankees would want him back as a depth outfield piece, as long as the price is right.

After the Yankees re-signed LeMahieu, the YES Network reported that the club and Gardner had been in talks about a deal for the upcoming season. And at this point, seeing Gardner in anything other than Yankees pinstripes is almost too strange to imagine.