Yankees: 26-man roster projection for 2021 season
By Ryan Doyle
Who will suit up at catcher and first base for the Yankees next year?
No surprise here. Gary Sanchez will not hit free agency until after the 2022 season. Sanchez has proven to be one of the best offensive catchers in the sport and one of the top run producers in the Yankees lineup. It’s probably time to start talking contract extension for The Kraken.
The season delay hurts Kyle Higashioka. He walked into spring training with the backup job in hand but the long-time minor leaguer may not get his shot this year. Much like former backup Austin Romine, Higashioka specializes in his ability behind the plate.
Higashioka has some of the best catch framing numbers in all of baseball. According to baseball savant, Higashioka had the best strike rate in baseball and should be a huge help for the Yankees rotation.
There’s a chance the Yankees decide to grab a veteran catcher in free agency but there really isn’t a reason to find a replacement for Higashioka just yet.
First baseman (1)
Last season Luke Voit was one of the Yankees’ best offensive threats as the team dealt with injury after injury. The powerful first baseman then had his own injury issues and it would limit him to just 118 games.
Still, when Voit was available he posted a .263/.378/.464 line with 21 homers and 62 RBI, proving that his 2018 stint was not a fluke.
Voit deserves to keep his job at first base and he won’t enter free agency until 2025, according to spotrac.com.
Heading into the 2020 season, Mike Ford was a serious candidate to make the Opening Day roster. Likely as a left-handed bat off the bench and occasional designated hitter. He will still have minor league options next year and he will likely have to remain in Triple-A until an opportunity presents itself.