In 2017, a young New York Yankees catcher by the name of Gary Sanchez unloaded hope and optimism for the future. His .278 batting average and impressively stroked 33 home runs once highlights why Sanchez could be the next Jorge Posada, but his career took an interesting twist in the last two seasons.
Failing to reach over .240 with his hitting and dropping as far down as .186 in 2018, Sanchez has lost the hype he once slung over his shoulder like a new pair of Jordans. The days of absolute faith in the catcher have faded away into a glimpse of what most imagined he could become. But this doesn’t rule out the potential for the future, and while some have indicated Sanchez could be on the trade block this offseason, the reality is, general manager Brian Cashman doesn’t feel the same way.
The New York Yankees needed the Kraken during the postseason:
The “Kraken” has turned into a mere squid after failing to produce during the postseason, while his teammates watched as he stepped into the batter’s box and was mowed down in less than five pitches nearly every at-bat. When the Yankees desperately needed Sanchez to provide, he squandered in the face of adversity, or maybe injury.
It was too little, too late, and his team came two games away from reaching the World Series — which would have highlighted a glorious career for CC Sabathia, and given veteran Brett Gardner a final chance at doing it with the Yankees as well.
Sanchez’s passed balls, .130 BA with 12 strikeouts, and just three hits plagued a team that was begging him to reinforce their efforts. Center fielder Aaron Hicks returned to provide a spark in game five against Justin Verlander, the Yankees’ final hope, all while needing Tommy John surgery. Still, Sanchez couldn’t rise to the occasion. Failure was written all over his face, and one homer with nothing to lose late in-game three didn’t mean much to his attempt at recovery.
The fact is, Sanchez has proved he’s tradeable, but Cashman may elect to stick with a home-grown player out of pride. A Greg Bird situation if you will. Fortunately, Sanchez has been able to play in significant games throughout his time at the major league level, but his lack of consistency is becoming a burden.
Cashman went on to say:
“I thought Gary Sanchez had a great season, obviously outside of the injuries,’’ the GM said at his season-ending press conference in The Bronx on Thursday. “You know, Gary is part of the solution.”
“Listen, what we did against their offense in terms of compressing their offense was as much to do with our pitchers as Gary Sanchez, but Gary’s a big part of that,’’ Cashman said.
While this is correct, Sanchez called a solid postseason from behind the plate, the parts of his game the Bombers needed most were left behind in the regular season. There’s little doubt “The Kraken” will return next season, but there’s justification for a potential trade as well.