Brett Gardner Rumors: Yankees Free-Agent OF 'Definitely' Plans to Play in 2021

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistFebruary 11, 2021

New York Yankees' Brett Gardner blows a bubble during batting practice before Game 2 of the team's American League wild-card baseball playoff series against the Cleveland Indians, Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2020, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Dermer)
David Dermer/Associated Press

Outfielder Brett Gardner, 37, reportedly isn't ready for retirement just yet.

According to Jon Morosi of MLB Network, Gardner "definitely" plans on playing in 2021. While the outfielder has been with the New York Yankees his entire career, Randy Miller of NJ.com reported the Bronx Bombers have not made an offer or even started negotiations. 

In fact, Miller noted the last time the Yankees even addressed Gardner's status with the team was on Halloween when it paid him a $2.5 million buyout to avoid a vesting a $10 million club option for 2021.

Gardner was an All-Star in 2015 and Gold Glover in 2016. He also helped lead the Yankees to a World Series title in 2009, although he hit just .154 in those playoffs.

His versatility has stood out throughout his career as someone who can hit for decent power, play solid outfield defense and be a menace to opposing pitching staffs when he is on the basepaths. His durability has also been important for the Yankees, as he played at least 140 games every year from 2013 to 2019.

That streak ended because of the shortened 2020 campaign, but he still appeared in 49 of 60 contests and slashed .223/.354/.392 with five home runs and 15 RBI.

The batting average and power numbers don't stand out, but it was his highest on-base percentage since 2010, excluding when he played 16 games in 2012. He also is just one season removed from the 2019 campaign when he blasted a career-best 28 home runs and 74 RBI while stealing double-digit bases for the seventh straight season.

Gardner's prime may be behind him, but he could still be a valuable piece in an outfield rotation.

The Yankees may not have started any negotiations with him, but Miller reported other teams are interested.