Yankees news/rumors: Aaron Boone fires back in Gary Sanchez’s defense, Luke Voit trade floated

New York Yankees, Gary Sanchez

It is no secret that New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez struggled during the 2020 season, considering he finished with a .147 batting average and struck out 36% of the time over 178 plate appearances. He did manage to hit 10 homers and recorded 24 RBIs, but those two statistics don’t eradicate his deficiencies.

Offensively, he was a liability when it came to purely making contact, recording the first negative WAR of his entire career. Defensively, he was lackluster, losing the starting job to Kyle Higashioka late during the campaign. Ace Gerrit Cole also prefers Higgy as his personal catcher over Sanchez, who has trouble framing pitches and blocking balls in the dirt.

Sanchez finished the season with five past balls and five errors over 41 games, indicating another drop-off in his defense efficiency. However, manager Aaron Boone felt the need to fire back at haters, who have unfairly criticized him despite his degrading performances.

Aaron Boone fired back at Gary Sanchez haters, stating:

“I think he’s been unfairly criticized a lot,” Boone told the YES Network. “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.”

The New York Yankees could sell high on Luke Voit:

Voit had his best season in the MLB this past year, finishing with a .277 average, 22 homers, and 52 RBIs over 56 games. He led the entire league in home runs and recorded more this past season than he did in 2019 with an additional 300 PAs.

With two solid seasons under his belt, the consensus is that Voit is a consistent player who can hit home runs at an extravagant rate and provide value defensively. He’s not the best defensive player by any means, but he saw a significant step forward in his efficiency this past season, despite allowing three errors.

Bryan Hoch of MLB.com suggested that Voit being traded is more hearsay:

That has been suggested in a few media reports, proposing that the Yankees could cash in on a breakout season in which Luke Voit led the Majors in home runs to obtain a starting pitcher. At this point, that idea does not seem to have generated real traction in the front office. Those around the team believe that Voit’s 2020 performance was real and can be replicated in ’21 and beyond, especially his power and ability to drive the ball to all fields.

Voit himself even suggested that armchair GMs will continue to float names: