Gary Sanchez Reportedly Won't Be Flipped by Twins After Yankees Trade

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistMarch 14, 2022

New York Yankees' Gary Sanchez runs to first after hitting a home run during the second inning of a baseball game against the Oakland Athletics, Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
Mary Altaffer/Associated Press

The Minnesota Twins have no plans to flip Gary Sanchez after acquiring the veteran catcher from the New York Yankees on Sunday, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.

Sanchez, along with infielder Gio Urshela, was traded to Minnesota in exchange for third baseman Josh Donaldson, infielder Isiah Kiner-Falefa and catcher Ben Rortvedt.

Sanchez is expected to share time behind the plate with Ryan Jeffers.

Rumblings that Sanchez could be dealt began in November 2020 when Ken Davidoff, Joel Sherman and Dan Martin of the New York Post reported the Yankees would "at minimum listen to offers."

Sanchez seemed to fall out of favor with Yankees manager Aaron Boone during last year's postseason. His only appearance in the American League Division Series against the Tampa Bay Rays was as a defensive replacement in the bottom of the eighth in Game 5.

The past three complete seasons have been difficult for Sanchez. He hit .200/.296/.453 with 62 homers and 154 RBI in 244 games since the start of 2018. The 28-year-old set career lows with a .147 batting average, .253 on-base percentage and .365 slugging percentage in 2020.

In 117 games last season, Sanchez had a .204/.307/.423 slash line with 23 homers and 54 RBI.

The Yankees, like Sanchez, had an inconsistent 2021 season that left them in a state of uncertainty coming into this season. They did make the playoffs with a 92-70 record, but were shutout in a 1-0 loss to the Boston Red Sox in the AL Wild Card game.

Sanchez's salary is also starting to increase through arbitration. He's projected to earn $7.9 million in 2022, per Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors.

Another problem that Sanchez has had is his defense behind the plate. He led or tied for the American League lead in passed balls three times in four seasons from 2017-20. He finished 52nd out of 62 catchers in framing rate in 2020, per Baseball Savant.

Even though there are some red flags with Sanchez's game right now, he has the potential to be an excellent buy-low player for the Twins. The Dominican star slugged over .500 three times in four years from 2016 to 2019 and hit at least 30 homers twice (2017, 2019).

There may come a time soon when the defense prevents Sanchez from catching every day, but his bat is good enough when he's firing on all cylinders for him to serve as a designated hitter.