The New York Yankees are beginning to plan for the 2021 season, and even made a minor roster move on Tuesday. Earlier today, the Bombers outrighted catcher Wynston Sawyer off the Major League roster and onto the roster of Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
This means that Sawyer cleared waivers after being designated for assignment, so he was “outrighted” from the 40-man roster and transferred to the roster of a minor-league affiliate of the Yankees, in this case, Triple-A. Sawyer is no longer part of the 40-man roster.
Sawyer joined the organization in August and was assigned to their alternate training site. The idea was for Sawyer to provide some additional catching depth in the Yankees’ 60-man player pool. His previous organization was the Minnesota Twins. With them, he hit .260/.333/.409 with two home runs over 43 games in their Triple-A affiliate in 2019.
Sawyer will turn 29 next month, so he’s no prospect. However, he hasn’t made his big league debut yet. He could reach the bigs with the Yankees in 2021 as a backup catcher if needed.
The Yankees’ catching situation
The Yankees currently have Gary Sanchez and Kyle Higashioka as the top two backstops in the organization. They are not expected to upgrade the position in the offseason, but there could be an open competition between the two for starting duties given that the struggling Sanchez (.147/.253/.365) had a terrible 2020 and lost his starting gig in the postseason to Higashioka (.223/.354/.392) who is the superior defender.
Having Sawyer around as depth could be useful if he’s ever needed, in case Sanchez or Higgy go down with a long-term injury.
Sawyer has some pop, as evidenced by his career-high 12 homers in the 2016 minor league season. He also has decent on-base skills and can take a walk if he’s not given anything to hit.