Yankees: 3 players NYY should’ve traded at peak value over last few years

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New York Yankees, Gary Sanchez
Gary Sanchez #24 of the New York Yankees – (Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images) /

1. Gary Sanchez

We don’t want to beat the dead horse, but the Yankees should’ve seen Sanchez’s demise long ago.

When Gary Sanchez took MLB by storm in 2016 with his 20 home runs in 53 games, the Yankees thought they had their catcher of the future. He followed that up with another tremendous showing in 2017, logging an All-Star campaign by slashing .278/.345/.531 with 79 runs scored, 33 homers and 90 RBI in just 122 games.

But since then? Though he was an All-Star in 2019 (likely only because of his home run numbers, which featured 34 blasts in 106 games), he’s slashed .201/.297/.457 in 227 games. Over that span, he’s struck out 267 times. Initially, his contributions on offense outweighed his shortcomings on defense. Not anymore.

Though justifying trading Sanchez before 2018 was near impossible, perhaps at some point in 2018 or during his poor second half in 2019 could’ve seen the Yankees come out on top with a big-name pitching prospect, among other things.

His defense has actually gotten worse over that span, so it’s not like the front office couldn’t see the obvious cracks in his game. The roster has had enough firepower and sluggers to make up for the loss of Sanchez, even when he wasn’t a liability.

Once talked about as a potential piece in a Noah Syndergaard trade, one could argue El Gary won’t fetch a mediocre package of prospects at this point. Given the Yankees’ eternal need for starting pitching, it really isn’t all that crazy for the Yankees to have previously explored trades involving their star catcher when you consider all the moves they’ve made over the years to improve the power in their lineup.

Now, Yankees fans are stuck with Gary whether they like it or not.