Yankees news/rumors: The Gary Sanchez news we want to hear

New York Yankees, Gary Sanchez, Luis Severino
Oct 3, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Severino (40) and catcher Gary Sanchez (24) talk on the mound during the fourth inning against the Oakland Athletics in the 2018 American League wild card playoff baseball game at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

As polarizing as New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez is, the news revolving around him this off-season has been equally erratic.

Whether it be general manager Brian Cashman indicating that the Yankees will reevaluate the catcher position or Aaron Boone coming to Sanchez’s defense, fans are left in a perplexed state of confusion on what their plans are for the future.

“I think it’s certainly a fair question obviously the way Gary Sanchez’ season transpired, and then the way it ended with Higashioka actually starting in the postseason as many games as he did,” Cashman said. “I think it’s one of the discussion points we’re going to have to focus on.”

To Cashman’s point, Sanchez was eventually replaced by Kyle Higashioka during the postseason and lost his right to catch Gerrit Cole. Based on that fact alone, the Yankees should be considering their long-term future at catcher is in question, and Sanchez can’t be relied on after 2021. Sanchez will be a free agent in 2022, after becoming arbitration-eligible in 2021, so they will have to make a decision on his future since his price tag will skyrocket after this upcoming campaign.

Nonetheless, Sanchez is working hard to return to his 2017 self, when he hit 33 homers and earned a .278 batting average. His fellow teammates refuse to give up on him, including first baseman Luke Voit who vouched for his off-season preparation this year.

Luke Voit participated in a phone interview with NJ Advance Media this past week, stating:

“He was coming to the facility before he came down and he was literally hitting for hours and hours at a time with both of our hitting coaches. He’s got something to prove. I think he’s changed some of his mechanics, working on his timing and trying to prove that last year wasn’t what he wanted and he wants to be ‘The Kraken,’ which we all know he can. We know what he’s capable of. The dude’s got a lot of talent. I think he’s going to come out and have a big year for us.”

The New York Yankees can’t afford to make any drastic changes:

If you are a Yankees fan this is the news you want to hear, but here every season. Sanchez is working nonstop to correct his problems, but new issues seem to bubble to the surface. In a different reality where COVID doesn’t exist, Cashman might look to the free-agent market to replace Sanchez, but with his money tied up, he must take a more cost-efficient route.
First and foremost, if he can contribute offensively, his defensive deficiencies take a backseat. Returning to his previous form, where he was hitting home runs left and right but also had a solid batting average would make him a top catcher in the MLB again. That is a player the Yankees want to invest in over the long term, but he’s put himself in a tumultuous position.
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