A little under a month ago, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman suggested the club would evaluate the catcher position this offseason. That could put Gary Sanchez in jeopardy of remaining a Yankee in 2021. Now, according to Joel Sherman, Ken Davidoff and Dan Martin of the New York Post, the Yankees will at least listen to trade offers for Sanchez.
This development regarding Sanchez comes on the heels of a report saying the Yankees have interest in free agent Yadier Molina, a longtime Cardinal and potential Hall of Famer who would give New York a defensive upgrade at catcher. Of course, Molina is far older than Sanchez (38 to 27) and doesn’t possess as much offensive upside at this point of his career. Both players had subpar seasons at the plate in 2020 (82 wRC+ for Molina, 69 for Sanchez), but the powerful Sanchez was a well-above-average hitter as recently as 2019. He also began his career with a flourish from 2016-17 before a down year in ’18.
Should the Yankees decide to move on from Sanchez, they could also turn to J.T. Realmuto or James McCann in free agency. Realmuto may command a $100MM-plus contract, though, which checks in well north of the $5.1MM to $6.4MM Sanchez is projected to earn in arbitration this offseason. Sanchez also has arbitration eligibility for 2022, so it would be a risky move on the Yankees’ part to cut bait on an affordable, controllable backstop who has enjoyed a pretty successful, albeit uneven, career to this point. The only other catcher on their 40-man roster is Kyle Higashioka, a 30-year-old who owns a line of .186/.221/.381 (55 wRC+) through 204 major league plate appearances.