Gardner said he’d be lying if he said he hadn’t thought about how much longer he wants to play.

“You can’t keep playing this game forever,” he said.

Health will be a key in deciding his future, the South Carolina native said.

He hasn’t played less than 145 games in a season since 2012, when he needed right elbow surgery.

“So far, this year’s gone well for me,” Gardner said. “I’ve stayed healthy and that’s just the name of the game. As long as I can stay healthy and feel like I can still compete and help the team, I want to continue to play. I don’t really put a whole lot of thought into it. Just try and keep focusing on the now and keep preparing for the future. I don’t really put a whole lot of thought into it, but I’d be lying if I hadn’t thought about it.”

Gardner said “hopefully this isn’t my last year” with the Yankees.

“‘I’ve been honest about not ever wanting to get traded,” he said, “wanting to stay here and thankfully I’ve been very fortunate to spend 11 seasons here and it’s a special team and I’ve gotten to know a lot of special people. So hopefully this isn’t my last year here, but I think the way that I play on the field and trying to stay healthy for the whole season will dictate that.”

Gardner said he feels “great” physically and that he doesn’t think age has affected him much.

“I wouldn’t say so much, man,” he said. “I think a lot of that’s mental. As you get older, you get smarter and you figure out ways to maybe better ways to take care of yourself, the way you eat or the way you sleep or the way you work out and the way you prepare for a game on a daily basis. I feel great physically. I really do. I’ve been fortunate to have be healthy for the most part for the last several years, stay on the field. For me, that’s the main thing. Just staying healthy.”

Brendan Kuty may be reached at

Brett Gardner also says he’d consider playing elsewhere if this is his last season with Yankees.

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NEW YORK — Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner would like to play “two or three more years” after this season, he said Tuesday.

Also, Gardner, who turns 35 in August, said he “wouldn’t really want to play anywhere else,” but that he’d consider it if the Yankees “don’t want me here anymore and I still wanted to play a couple more years.”

“We’ll cross that bridge when we get there,” he said, sitting at his locker in Yankee Stadium clubhouse.

How Yankees discovered Loaisiga

Gardner is in the final guaranteed season of a four-year, $52-million contract extension, according to Cot’s Baseball Contracts. The Yankees can exercise his $12.5-million team option for 2019 or let him go via a $2 million buyout.

Gardner has been the productive leadoff hitter the Yankees expected him to be this season, hitting .263 with five home runs, 21 RBI, a .759 OPS and six stolen bases in 55 games.

After hitting .198 through the first 32 games of the season, he’s hit .348 the last 23 games.

He’s become one of the leaders in the Yankees’ clubhouse, alongside veteran starting pitcher and good friend CC Sabathia. Last season, 23-year-old outfielder Clint Frazier called Gardner the team’s “captain.”

Gardner said he’d be lying if he said he hadn’t thought about how much longer he wants to play.

“You can’t keep playing this game forever,” he said.

Health will be a key in deciding his future, the South Carolina native said.

He hasn’t played less than 145 games in a season since 2012, when he needed right elbow surgery.

“So far, this year’s gone well for me,” Gardner said. “I’ve stayed healthy and that’s just the name of the game. As long as …read more

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