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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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