The Yankees continue to perform, and the outlook is excellent. The same cannot be said for their catchers. This should be a flashing red light for Brian Cashman.
The Yankees have stormed off to a 6-1 start in the 2020 shortened season. By the end of next week, they will have played one-fifth of their scheduled games.
The team is doing this with zero offensive contributions from their two catchers, Gary Sanchez and Kyle Higashioka. Numbers don’t lie, and for those who can bear it, here are the ugly stats.
For a better view, use this link.
Graciously and with thanks from fans like myself, the Yankees, and in particular, Aaron Boone has finally calmed down in the hype over Sanchez.
After all, how can he argue with ten strikeouts in eighteen official at-bats?
While Brian Cashman can be questioned for not finding a better back-up during the offseason – or why the Yankees chose not to lure Austin Romine to stay with the team, Higashioka is nothing more than what he is, and no one claims otherwise.
Everything shifts back to Sanchez. He is (and always was) the chosen one. But more and more, it’s hard to imagine Brian Cashman sitting there and doing nothing.
The team is hot, and the time is ripe for change as opposed to a situation when the team is down and desperate for answers.
Easier said than done, however, and as Cashman or any fan of baseball checks out the cathing landscape at the moment, the pickings, as they say, are slim.
That all changes, though, after the World Series when the 2021 class of free agents hit the market, and the sweepstakes begin to bring All-Star catcher J.T. Realmuto on board.
Yankees: Who’s Better Than Nothing
That’s tomorrow, and the Yankees are (or should be) in an all-out effort to secure talent like Realmuto. In fact, Brian Cashman should label him as White Whale 2 as a follow-up to the tag he placed on Gerrit Cole as a must Yankees signee.
A perusal of Spotrac’s of the remaining 2020 free agent catchers acknowledges what Cashman is up against. But there are two possible candidates, both of whom (oddly) have been with the team before.
Russell Martin and Brian McCann are both still available, and as former members of the Yankees, they know the “Yankees Way,” and as veterans, they know how to roll with the punches.
How much either has left in the tank is an open question. Their respective ages at 37 and 36 are also a cause for concern.
What can it hurt to sign either on a flyer to a minor-league deal?
The Yankees Have The Next Move With Sanchez
Arbitration eligible thru 2022, Gary Sanchez does not cost the Yankees much of anything ($5 million this year).
At the rate he’s going production-wise, Sanchez will be lucky to get raises as a reward for service time, putting him in a category separate from players like Gleyber Torres and Aaron Judge. Both of whom will hurt the Yankee’s pocketbook in a big way before reaching free agency.
In a “normal” season, Sanchez would be an obvious candidate for a tune-up at Triple-A Scranton, but, of course, there is no minor league baseball this year.
This probably means that Aaron Boone has no other choice than to run Sanchez out there four to five times a week as the schedule further tightens with double-header makeups on the horizon if games continue to be postponed due to COVID related incidents.
Yankees Remain In “No-Spin” Mode
Typically, Brian Cashman keeps these things close, and the last thing he wants to see is a leak getting out there that he is shopping Sanchez or looking for a replacement from another team.
Given Sanchez’s fragile makeup, that would only make matters worse as Sanchez drifts into a deeper funk.
For the moment, Boone has Gary Sanchez penciled in tonight’s lineup against the Red Sox in the seven-hole. He’ll be facing another Boston nobody (Austin Brice 0-0 7.71 ERA) on the heels of earning his first hit of the season last night.
Round and round she goes…