Yankees Trade Rumors: NY Looking to 'Fix' Gary Sanchez Rather Than Deal Him

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistNovember 16, 2020

New York Yankees' Gary Sanchez reacts after hitting a two-run home run off Cleveland Indians relief pitcher Triston McKenzie durng the sixth inning of Game 2 of an American League wild-card baseball series, Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2020, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Dermer)
David Dermer/Associated Press

The New York Yankees do not appear set to sell low on catcher Gary Sanchez.

ESPN's Buster Olney reported that the Yankees are determined to "fix" Sanchez, who struggled mightily during the shortened 2020 season.

"I know this—if the Yankees dumped him, I'd take him," an evaluator said, per Olney. "When he's right, there are almost no catchers who hit like him. I'd take a shot at him and try to figure out what's happening with his swing and his mind."

Sanchez hit just .147/.253/.365 with 10 home runs and 24 RBI last season. He was essentially an all-or-nothing hitter, with 10 of his 24 base hits being home runs and 64 at-bats ending in strikeouts. His 36 percent strikeout rate was the 10th-worst among all batters with at least 100 plate appearances, per FanGraphs.

Kyle Higashioka essentially replaced Sanchez as the Yankees' starting catcher during the postseason, given his struggles at the plate. Sanchez is viewed as a below-average defensive catcher, so his value is almost entirely tied up in his ability to hit for power at the position.

Since 2016, no catcher has hit more home runs than Sanchez, and his overall offensive value is only topped by J.T. Realmuto's during that timespan. All of that is to say there is some hope Sanchez can return to form next season and become an effective player behind the dish.

However, the Yankees seem unlikely to give him a full season to work out the kinks in his swing in 2021. 

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