Gary Sanchez back with Yankees, team to offer him contract
Gary Sanchez is still a Yankee.
The Yankees will offer the receiver a contract, a source confirmed on Tuesday, keeping Sanchez in the Bronx, at least for now.
Sanchez’s future with the Yankees was uncertain for a second straight offseason thanks to another below-par both at plate and defensively, but as GM Brian Cashman noted recently, the alternatives are thin in the capture market.
After earning $ 6.35 million in 2021, Sanchez is expected to get a raise of around $ 8 million. He turns 29 on Thursday and is expected to become a free agent after the coming season.
Given Sanchez’s struggles, the Yankees made inquiries about Pittsburgh’s Jacob Stallings before he was traded to Miami.
In the end, they decided to stick with Sanchez, a double All-Star at 26, but a player who has seen his production drop significantly over the past two seasons.
Sanchez impressed the Yankees – and since batting coach Marcus Thames – by volunteering to play winter ball in the Dominican Republic following his disastrous 2020 campaign, then showed flashes of his former offensive prowess last season.
Those bright spots have been largely overshadowed, however, by protracted meltdowns which, no matter what the Yankees have said publicly, were made worse by his inconsistency behind the plate.
Cashman praised Sanchez’s defense and effort this offseason, but even admitted he fought more defensively in the latter part of the season.
And once again, the Yankees went with Kyle Higashioka in a must-see wildcard game in Boston, with Gerrit Cole on the mound.
In the 2020 playoffs, Higashioka was also favored over Sanchez – and not just when Cole pitched.
During 2021, Sanchez’s strikeout rate declined from the previous season’s peak, as did his exit speed.
How did he get to this point?
Theories vary widely, with some scouts questioning Sanchez’s efforts, but those in the organization insist Sanchez worked hard. Other evaluators pointed out a lack of development, both offensively and defensively.
The Yankees saw Gleyber Torres take a similar path and are hoping for a different result now that they’ve brought him down to second after the shortstop.
As for the rest of the roster, Cashman has indicated that first base is an area of need, in addition to shortstop and potentially central ground, and this is especially true with the loss of Chris Gittens, who was released Monday night and was at least one room deep in the place.
Gittens, 27, hit well in the minors but struggled during his brief stint with the Yankees in 2021, when he went 4 for 36 with a homer, seven walks and 13 strikeouts batting. Anthony Rizzo is a free agent after playing well in the Bronx after his trade with the Cubs and Freddie Freeman is still not signed after his World Series run in Atlanta.
With Javier Baez en route to Detroit, the Yankees have one less option to make a splash in the free agent shortstop market.
Only Carlos Correa and Trevor Story remain in the market, although the Tigers have been seen as a potential landing point for Correa and are now set with Baez.
The Yankees were among the quieter teams in the sport during this flurry of activity ahead of the impending lockout, with their only major league signing a one-year, $ 2 million contract to bring back southpaw Joely Rodriguez.
They have chosen to stay away from the rapidly changing starting pitching market, despite making Justin Verlander a $ 25 million one-year offer. He chose to return to Houston.