This is the first time I've seen Gardy say he was definitely not for that trade:
"When we lost Bartlett, that was the most frustrating thing for me," Gardenhire said. "I thought we had Bartlett where we wanted him. So when we made the trade with Bartlett, then I was frustrated. But it is what it is. I wanted Bartlett to stay here. I thought we had gotten him to the point where we wanted, so I was not on the Bartlett side of the trade."
This caught my eye because it's been speculated on a number of occasions here that Gardenhire was behind the Bartlett trade. He'd publicly questioned Bartlett's attitude and leadership among other things, and went out of his way to start aging veterans in front of him, so we assumed Bartlett was run out of town because Gardy didn't like him. But now Gardy is saying it was all Smith. It's very rare for him to break ranks. Is it possible that Smith was just tired of hearing all Gardy's complaining about Bartlett and thought he was doing him a favo?. Did the Rays just insist on Bartlett, and did Smith cave?
I wish La Velle had asked him, Did you tell Smith that? And what did you think about trading Hardy? But if you asked him explicitly to criticize a GM, even a former GM, he would clam up. This might be all we get.
Say what you will about Gardy, but I can't see him lying about something like this. I have never heard him accused of making excuses or rewriting history. I can't imagine him questioning a trade years later that he actually was for. I'm surprised to see him discussing any trade. It had to be an unguarded moment.