Gary Sanchez Continues Downward Spiral But Yankees Won’t Give In

Gary Sanchez, NY Yankees ( Photo Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke)

Gary Sanchez is getting worse, not better. For reasons yet to be known, the Yankees trot along in a state of denial. When does it end?

Gary Sanchez will be the Yankees starting catcher on Thursday afternoon when the Yankees open their 2021 season against the Toronto Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium.

This will happen whether Gerrit Cole, the New York media, you, me, and probably a few of his teammates who can’t cross the blue line like it or not.

Nor does it apparently matter that Gary Sanchez‘s Spring Stats look like this and speak volumes…

Source: Baseball-Reference
Source: Baseball-Reference

Now we know that some players have a good preseason while others can’t wait for the season to start so they can put it all behind them.

Count Aaron Judge in that latter category and DJ LeMahieu, who spent most of the spring, joined at the hip with Gleyber Torres working on their double-play rhythm.

There comes a time – or should come a time – when the Yankees need to stop trying to fit a square peg in a round hole.

But at this time of a baseball season, it helps to have friends in high places when your stats look a bit suspect.

“No questions; there have been peaks and valleys,” Aaron Boone said. “But there have been real peaks there.” – forgetting to mention that the last so-called “peak” was five years ago, and it’s been downhill ever since.

Gary Sanchez And Aaron Boone Joined At The Hip

Look, at this point, Aaron Boone may as well be joined at the hip with Gary Sanchez.

Ex-Catcher <a rel=
Gary Sanchez and Aaron Boone – Ne’er The Twain Shall Meet

Because Joe Girardi‘s future with the Yankees took a step backward when he publicly and privately challenged Gary Sanchez for committing the worst crime in baseball – not hustling.

Boone’s die was cast with Yankees when he chose a different path with Sanchez, and those repercussions may be seen at the close of this season – if the horse he’s backing flops.

Following Girardi’s dismissal, Boone came on board and since then has adopted a TLC approach, administering almost daily massages to the tender ego of Gary Sanchez.

Yankees: All Their Eggs In One Basket

Of course, the trouble facing the Yankees is they’ve put all their eggs in one basket with Sanchez while the free-agent market has all but evaporated with good catchers.

Brian Cashman CSI: The Bronx (Photo:
Brian Cashman CSI: The Bronx (Photo:

Kyle Higashioka is what he is, and he’s a darn good back-up catcher, but he doesn’t measure up as a full-time player at this level.

So what does Brian Cashman do if he sees the light (which I believe he very much does) at this point with Sanchez?

He can do what we can do with him by scouring the remaining free-agents left from the Class of 2021 Free-Agents.

He can pause for a second on veterans like Matt Wieters, Jonathan Lucroy, John Ryan Murphy, and former Yankee Josh Thole, who are in their 30s with better playing days behind them.

Or, Cashman can dip (prematurely) into the depth of catchers in the Yankees system, where four of their Top-25 Prospects are catchers.

Austin Wells, Anthony Seigler, Josh Breaux, and Antonio Gomez could represent the next generation of Yankees catchers, but to promote them now is risky, not only for the Yankees but for the careers of the players themselves.

Is Gary Sanchez Tradeable?

So, what’s left – the trade market? Fat chance of that happening since the Yankees saw fit to inexplicably “reward” Gary Sanchez with a $1.3 million raise, bringing his total weight against the luxury tax limit to $6.35 million for the 2021 season.

The fact is the Yankees have boxed themselves into a corner, leaving them nowhere to go with Gary Sanchez, even if they wanted to.

Gary Sanchez "Case" Dismissed
Gary Sanchez “Case” Dismissed

It’s like the politician running for office himself, deciding to attach himself to the coattails of another pol running for a higher office.

Figuring that if he wins, I have a good shot at a plum job in his office – even if I lose.

Except that in this case, the Yankees lose all around because they backed the wrong horse.

Gary Sanchez: Could An Injury Be On The Horizon?

The only hope the Yankees may have – and please don’t shoot the messenger because I mean no personal harm – is for injury-prone Gary Sanchez to suffer an injury of the kind that puts him out of service for three-four months.

This would enable the Yankees to collect a good portion of Sanchez’s salary from their insurance provider and thereby free Cashman to buy or trade for a major-league-ready catcher not over the age of 53.

As sinister as it may be, it’s done all the time in baseball, and provided a team surrenders adequate medical documentation certifying the injury, the 60-day IL is only a step away.

Gary Sanchez: A Square Peg In A Round Hole

All reports from the Yankees regarding the work ethic of Gary Sanchez continue to glow with approval.

MLB: The square peg in a round hole never works
MLB: The square peg in a round hole never works

But there comes a time – or should come a time – when the Yankees need to stop trying to fit a square peg in a round hole.

Gary Sanchez is not a work in progress as the Yankees insist. Instead, he is a catcher who learned his “skills” way back when, and like they say, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.

If Gary Sanchez played for the Colorado Rockies or Texas Rangers, who would care? These are teams going nowhere, and their fans would delight in seeing Sanchez launch one every 25 at-bats.

Not so with the Yankees, who have their sights rightfully set on the World Series. Common sense alone says it’s about time for them to end the siege at the Alamo by getting creative with a way to make it happen.

Brian Cashman, it’s your move, and you’d better make it good…

As Always, Here Are Reader’s Comments And Thoughts

What does Gary have on the Yankee brass? Are they that stupid or naive, the man has had his best years, oh how I wish Jorge Posada was still playing!
He really is a head case. It is a shame.
Kinda reminds me of Ruben Rivera. Member him? He was supremely talented and got every opportunity in the world
I think his last chance is through the first half. If he’s still not getting it done by June, I can see Cashman shopping on the Trade market. Yanks won’t get much for him, maybe eat most of the money, pair him with Andujar for someone. Time will tell. I still hope he can do something… if it ends like that, he makes Greg Bird’s disappointment seem minor by comparison.
Same old Gary this Spring. A few home runs and a blocked pitch in the dirt and everybody raved. Then the real Gary showed up like he always does. What spell does he have over Cashman and Boone??
They’re afraid to let him go because he has shown glimpses of being a star. They don’t want him to become a star for another team. However, the Yankees are doing a disservice to him by not allowing him to get away from New York and the pressure that goes along with being a Yankee to see if he can finally live up to his potential. They are hurting themselves because we could have had Realmuto this year if they had been willing to let Sanchez go
By now you probably already know I’ve been wanting to dump Sánchez for 3 years, so there’s no point in me saying anything further about the worst defensive catcher in MLB history. Nor will
I go on about his inability to reach the Mendoza line. Instead, I’ll simply say that with the incredible lineup the Yankees run out day after day, I’m completely content having Higashioka as the everyday catcher. He’s an above-average defender, calls a good game, and can hit. That’s all we really need at this position.
I just think the upside is really high and they don’t have a better option at the price he’s being paid. This is it tho, no shot he has a bad year and is on the team longer than this year.
It is not just Gary -have you noticed no one is hitting or performing. How do you keep Jay Bruce over Gittens , Wade over Estrada, Cessa over almost everyone else? How do you go from great depth to 2 injuries away from last place? how do you keep 6 outfielders? Cashman and Fishman have screwed the pooch this team is in a real bind
Do you ever write anything positive about the Yankees?
Sanchez played in only 3 of the last six games because Higashioka needed work (being out for a while). In two of those games, he got a hit. Sanchez actually had a better spring training experience than most of the Yankee batters.
I hope that Sanchez will do better this year since he really stunk last year. From what I can tell from the stats (didn’t watch any games), he should be better. Will he be the Sanchez that he was when he first came up is anybody guess but it is too early in the year to write about giving upon him.
My Reply To Gee Leong Without objection, I’ve added your comment to the article. Please know this, though. I am a fan of the Yankees for the last half-century+. However, I always look for ways to improve the team. This requires an evaluation from afar and often is based solely on “feel”. I do not believe being a fan requires sugar-coating everything about the team and my writing reflects that. Enjoy the season – here we go.
I’m glad the Yanks are giving Sanchez one more year to become the major league catcher he once appeared to be. If he fails to do that this year, it should be his last year on the team.
Bill Dubbeling

Amen I’m tired of waiting on this waste to pan out, we have Higgy who is a better catcher and makes contact more often, plus there are 4 minor league catchers in our system, Sanchez is an albatross


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Author: stevecontursi

I am an amateur writer with a passion for baseball and all things Yankees and Mets.