Yankees news: Gary Sanchez’s fate will be sealed today in pinstripes

The New York Yankees have one year left of control when it comes to catcher Gary Sanchez, but it seems as if they are not in any rush to extend him on a one year deal. With Wednesday, 8 PM being the deadline to tender a new contract, Sanchez’s fate lies within the next few hours.

It is not surprising that the Yankees are evaluating the catcher position extremely closely, based on Sanchez’s terrible 2020 season. In fact, Sanchez has degraded since his stellar 2017 campaign, when he hit .278 with 33 homers and 90 RBIs. However, fast forward three years, and he finished with a .147 average, 36% strikeout rate, and -0.1 WAR.

The New York Yankees need to understand 2020 was no anamoly:

Last season could be coughed up as an anomaly, but his 2019 numbers were still problematic. Despite hitting 34 homers and 77 RBIs, Sanchez was questionable on defense, another knock on his game. He allowed 15 errors and 18 passed balls, both numbers being extremely high. In 2018 he had a .186 BA with the second-lowest WAR of his career at 1.7.

While he has been a liability at times on both sides of the ball, manager Aaron Boone came to his defense several weeks ago.

“I think he’s been unfairly criticized a lot,” the Yankees manager told Meredith Marakovits on YES Network’s Yankees Hot Stove. “I think at times it’s over the top and people are blinded by some of the things that he’s done really well.

“This year was certainly a challenging year for him and a struggle for him in a lot of ways, but that’s okay,” Boone continued.  “That’s part of the game. Sometimes you have a tough season, and this season was tough for so many people across the league for different reasons.”

Boone is right about one thing, Sanchez had an extremely tough 2020. He played in 49 games and was eventually replaced by Kyle Higashioka, his back up, for the postseason and as Gerrit Cole’s personal catcher. The Yankees cannot continue to rely on Sanchez as an everyday starter if a minor-league backup is able to supplement him with ease.
I still believe they will tender him a cheap deal, but I don’t think his representatives feel he is that worthless. He still ranks as one of the best catchers in baseball, but it is clear that his inconsistencies have become a problem. The Yankees are going to have to make a long term decision sooner rather than later.