Yankees: 3 moves that will make NYY a dynasty again
1. Trade Gary Sanchez
If the Yanks truly want to build an empire and begin playing dynasty baseball, they will need to move catcher Gary Sanchez. He will be 28 years old this year, and he is quickly running out of performance runway. He had a .186 and .232 batting average in 2018 and 2019, respectively. He also struck out a lot during those two years.
This year, The Kraken is batting .103 after 39 at bats, has four hits, and only one home run and a trio of RBI. Particularly worrisome, he has struck out a depressing 22 times, more than 50 percent of his at bats! Ouch. Admittedly, he has gone from being a poor fielder behind the plate to an average backstop on the field. He is injury prone and has spent a good deal of his major league career on the IL.
When one looks at the rosters of the great Yankee dynasty teams or other baseball dynasty teams (e.g., Cincinnati Reds, Los Angeles Dodgers, St. Louis Cardinals, etc.), one notices that they all had world-class catchers. Sanchez will never be a member of this group. GM Brian Cashman must now bite the bullet and move Gary Sanchez off the team. The sooner, the better.
My recommendation is to trade him (possibly as part of a package) to another club for an outstanding starting pitcher (as insurance) or a great relief pitcher (in case Tommy Kahnle is unable to regain his form following Tommy John surgery).
Who should replace Sanchez? A prime candidate is J.T. Realmuto. He is currently on the Philadelphia Phillies, and he will become a free agent during the offseason. The Bombers should launch a full-court press to sign him. Yes, he will cost a bit of money, but he is arguably the best catcher in baseball right now.
Another solid catching candidate to pursue would be Willson Contreras, who in my view has emerged as one of the top backstops in MLB. He started for the NL All-Star team in 2018 and 2019. He is a solid hitter, a terrific fielder, and handles the Cubs’ pitchers well. He turned 28 in May and is just coming into his own. The Yanks should pursue him via trade during the offseason, perhaps offering the Cubs Sanchez and another top prospect in return for him.
There are several other candidates worth pursuing, including excellent backup catchers that already are showing great promise and are now better than Sanchez (e.g., James McCann on the Chicago White Sox, who is signed through 2020 and is a free agent in 2021).
The Yanks are an excellent team already. Of course, the club will have to find ways to retain its present stars, which won’t be cheap, in addition to making the three strategic personnel moves I recommend. They are close to becoming a dynasty…again.