Brett Gardner cropped 10/1/21
The Yankees are leaving free-agent OF Brett Gardner‘s spring training locker open, according to a report Thursday morning by Brendan Kuty of NJ Advance Media for NJ.com.
“I think we’re kind of crossing our fingers, hoping,” one person said.
“He’s signed late before, hasn’t he?” another person added.
New York’s clubhouse at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Fla., had a No. 48 jersey but no nameplate Wednesday for Anthony Rizzo — according to the report — whose signing was not made official until Thursday morning.
New SS Isiah Kiner-Falefa, who wore No. 9 with the Texas Rangers (2018-21) before getting traded this past Saturday to the Minnesota Twins and then the Yankees one day later, will wear No. 12.
New York’s No. 9 is retired for legendary RF Roger Maris (1960-66), former 2B Rougned Odor (2021) last sported No. 12 and Gardner was No. 11 from 2008-21.
Gardner’s agent, Joe Bick, said that the 38-year-old and 14-year pro wants to play a 15th season in…