2. Tender a Contract to Gary Sánchez?
Don’t lie to us. Despite a bounce-back year from catcher Gary Sánchez where he’s objectively put up above-average offensive numbers (especially for someone behind the dish), you’ve still had moments where you’ve thought to yourself, “This must be the end of his road in New York.”
The missed tag against Jonathan Villar and the Mets that will live in infamy, the kind of play that brought even the most level-headed fans to Twitter in a rage. The dropped pop-up that ushered in the imperfect storm against Cleveland. On a larger scale, how about the realization that Kyle Higashioka was quickly becoming Corey Kluber’s personal catcher, too?
Then again, most of us had those moments in a career-altering shortened 2020 season, too, when Sánchez often looked like the bustiest hitter in baseball, all expectations considered.
After that season, Sánchez was tendered a contract for $6.35 million, an escalating cost that came after his career-worst campaign. Now, rocking a 103 OPS+ and his standard defensive warts into his final season under team control, that figure is sure to rise to between $8 and $9 million.
Will a less-cost-conscious version of the Yankees decide that’s a figure they’re willing to spend for above-average offensive production from the position? Or has the team’s braintrust finally had enough? After all, wasn’t Sánchez supposed to be more than just an inch or two above average?
This all seems to depend on how far the team is willing to go this offseason across the board. If they choose to tighten their purse strings even a little bit to accommodate Seager, Rizzo or Trevor Story, Sánchez could be the first casualty.
Hell, they dumped an effective Luis Cessa just to save money they never spent this summer. You just never know.