If Yankees’ Yadier Molina interest is real then what’s happening with Gary Sanchez?


Yadier Molina confirmed the Yankees are interested in him … but Gary Sanchez is getting a contract.

At first, we were hoping the New York Yankees would show interest in Yadier Molina. Then it was reported that they indeed were. Then the free agent catcher came out and said himself that was the case. All is well, right? Just get the guy under contract and let’s roll for 2021.

But there’s a big problem in the form of a man named Gary Sanchez. The latest buzz suggests the slugger will be tendered a contract before the Dec. 2 deadline, and he’s slated to pocket somewhere in between $6-$7 million in 2021 via the arbitration process. Plus, there’s Kyle Higashioka, who the Yankees have no reason to get rid of.

So if the interest in Molina is real, then what’s going to happen with Sanchez? Or is the interest in Molina a smokescreen? But a smokescreen for what? We’re not sure, it’s kind of confusing.

There’s no purpose for New York to jump in on the Yadi sweepstakes to drive up the price for those other three teams since they’ll have no effect on the Yankees’ season.

Let’s put it this way. The Yankees are not signing Molina if they’re keeping Sanchez. There’s no point. Yadi won’t be cheap and the organization has expressed time and time again that making cost-effective additions will be the name of the game during the pandemic. Why would they carry two catchers who cost somewhere in between $15-$18 million total when Higashioka has been better and much cheaper than Sanchez (at least in 2020).

The only option here — if they’re serious about Molina — is that Sanchez gets tendered a contract and then the Yankees find a trade partner for him, with no concern in regards to the value they’ll get in return. That’s pretty much the only way they can operate because the soon-to-be 28-year-old has had a (largely) dreadful last three seasons that have also been marred by injuries.

It’s just odd that we’ve got this confirmation from Molina, which came shortly after the report regarding Sanchez’s status for 2021.

At the end of the day, tendering Sanchez’s contract was always the right decision. You don’t want to see him walk elsewhere at a heavily discounted rate only to rediscover himself and make you look foolish. At worst, he’ll return to the Yankees and prove one last time that he’s not the catcher of the future. Then he’s taking a hike after 2021.

But if the Yankees are going to make a run at Molina, we can perhaps expect the front office to aggressively explore trade partners for Sanchez once the offseason starts to come into focus. We just don’t know how long that’s going to take.