The Yankees have made signings and trades in recent weeks, but Brett Gardner’s return remains a lingering question mark. A career-long Yankee, Gardner is unsigned as MLB free agency continues. The calendar flips from January to February with spring training inching closer.
Friday afternoon on WFAN’s Moose & Maggie, general manager Brian Cashman gave a mixed response when asked about the Yankees and Gardner.
“He’s a free agent, so I can’t speak to that. But I can tell you he’s always been a great Yankee and awesome every step of the way,” Cashman said. “Ultimately UFA.
I’m a big fan and always have been and always will be. He’s very talented and his career is not over, but where it continues is TBD. We’ll see if we’re part of that or not, but he’s a special person and a special player.”
Cashman also spoke glowingly of Clint Frazier, who could be ready for a next step in the Yankees’ outfield.
“He has continued to reinforce that he is a force, and has gotten better and better,” Cashman said of Frazier. “This past year is another testament to that. Going into this, without a doubt, he’s solidified himself as the guy, and he’s been a guy who has been big for us.
He’s take advantage of opportunities and improved on everything. He wasn’t a finished product when we acquired him, but he’s closing the gap on that ceiling. Now that his concussion is in the past (2018), you’re seeing the real deal. He had a hell of a year and should be very proud of it. We’re proud of him.”
An All-Star with the Yankees in 2015, Gardner slashed .259/.343/.401 while totaling 129 home runs, 539 RBI and 270 steals over 1,548 regular-season games from 2008-20.
As a 13th-year veteran during the shortened 2020 season, the 37-year-old Gardner hit a career-low .223, belting five homers and bringing in 15 RBI while stealing three bases.
Frazier, 26, looked to be turning a corner with the Yankees in 2020. Sticking in the lineup thanks to an improved defensive effort, ending up as a Gold Glove finalist for the AL RF. Frazier slashed .267/.394/.511 with eight long balls and 26 RBI in 39 games.