With the 2021/2022 offseason thrown through a loop due to the CBA negotiations, the Toronto Blue Jays made a few signings and acquisitions before and after the lockout that furthered bettered the club on the mound and in the batter’s box.
Both Kevin Gausman and Yimi Garcia were signed before the December 1st deadline and Yusei Kikuchi was the only other signing worth noting after the lockout was over. During Spring Training, the Blue Jays also made two significant trades, acquiring Matt Chapman from the Oakland A’s and trading Randal Grichuk to the Colorado Rockies in exchange for Raimel Tapia and prospect Adrian Pinto.
The Blue Jays were on a quest for some left-handed batters and while some deals never materialized, like the reported discussions between the Jays and Miami Marlins involving Teoscar Hernandez, the front office was interested in adding a former rival to their mix in free agent Brett Gardner.
The left-hitting Gardner has spent his entire career with the Yankees since being drafted by the club in the third round back in 2005. For his career, he owns a .256/.342/.398 slash line through 5737 at-bats and has amassed 139 home runs, 578 RBI, 274 stolen bases, and a .740 OPS since cracking the Yankees roster back in 2008. He has one World Series championship under his belt and one All-Star appearance and one Gold Glove Award on the mantle as well, spending the majority of his career in left field where he owns a 100 bDRS.
The Blue Jays were interested in adding free-agent Brett Gardner on a one-year deal but the long-time Yankees outfielder was not interested.
This past offseason, the Yankees really didn’t have any room on their roster for Gardner and many wondered if the outfielder would ever consider joining another club in free agency. New details have emerged from The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal that may back up the idea that Gardner is pretty loyal to the only franchise he has ever known.
The Blue Jays reportedly offered Brett Gardner a one-year, $6 million dollar deal after the lockout was over and the South Carolina product turned down the offer. The Atlanta Braves also gauged his interest with their outfield core being hampered by injuries and he declined as well.
It is easy to see why the front office would be interested in having Gardner play North of the border. He owns a .256/.330/.455 slash line at the Rogers Centre and has always been a thorn in the Jays’ side, hitting to a .784 OPS through 196 games against the Blue Jays while adding in 25 home runs and 78 RBI, the most against any team he has ever faced.
While the idea of adding Gardner to the Blue Jays did divide the fanbase based on social media reactions, it appears that anybody who was against the left-hander joining the roster can sleep easy, as the longtime Yankees product would likely rather retire than play for any other team.