Yankees Rumors: Gary Sanchez to Be Tendered Contract Ahead of Wednesday Deadline

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistDecember 2, 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 reportedly "plan to tender a contract" to veteran catcher Gary Sanchez, according to ESPN's Buster Olney.

Per that report, "Wednesday is the deadline for teams to tender contracts to arbitration-eligible players for the 2021 season."

Sanchez, 28, had an incredibly disappointing 2020 season, hitting just .147 on the year. The two-time All-Star has offered a real mixed bag for the Yankees in the past four years:

  • 2017: .278 with 33 homers and 90 RBI in 122 games
  • 2018: .186 with 18 homers and 53 RBI in 89 games
  • 2019: .232 with 34 homers and 77 RBI in 106 games
  • 2020: .147 with 10 homers and 24 RBI in 49 games

At one point, Sanchez looked like one of the best offensive catchers in baseball and a key piece of the Yankees core for the foreseeable future. But his dismal .253 on-base percentage and mediocre .618 OPS in 2020 called that into question. 

Buster Olney @Buster_ESPN

As the Yankees move forward with Gary Sanchez, the great mysteries that need to be solved are: What happened to him as a hitter? And can he get back to the .270-.280 type hitter he was at the outset of his career?

Céspedes Family BBQ @CespedesBBQ

Today is Gary Sánchez’s 28th birthday. I firmly believe he’s a good baseball player who had a bad year who unfairly gets wayyyyyy too much hate and I would be absolutely ecstatic to have him on my fave team.

There's little doubt Sanchez has pop and projects to hit 25-plus homers when he stays healthy for a full season. It's the fact that he offered the Yankees very little when he wasn't knocking the ball out of the park that is the concern. 

That made it a possibility that the Yankees might cut ties with Sanchez this offseason and target James McCann or J.T. Realmuto in free agency. Ultimately, the Bronx Bombers decided to give Sanchez another year to right the ship. That makes the 2021 campaign a huge one for the veteran catcher. 

"I do believe in the player because his talent is extraordinary; he has really great talent," manager Aaron Boone told Joel Sherman of the New York Post. "He has shown it to us throughout his career. Obviously, this year was really tough and difficult—a struggle. The challenge is going to be finding that consistency and hopefully we can unlock that."


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