3. Gary Sánchez
Perhaps non-tendering Sánchez is the easier option since it won’t be easy finding a trade partner willing to take on his projected $8 million salary for 2022, but the Yankees aren’t going to cut bait with him now if they didn’t after 2019 or 2020. This is his last year under team control. Do or die.
But you can’t say a handful of teams out there wouldn’t be willing to take a chance on the slugging catcher to gain that “unique” advantage on the offensive end. Very few backstops hit for power like Sánchez does when he’s swinging the bat well … but that’s the problem. He’s not consistent and his defense isn’t very good.
We’re also not sure what other catchers in free agency or the trade market would interest the Yanks as an upgrade over Sánchez. Maybe they just want superior defense and go after a guy like Martin Maldonado, sign him for $3 million and then save $5 million total by unloading El Gary.
We’d be lying if we told you almost all of these potential trade candidates didn’t have baggage attached to them. Sánchez’s case is complicated given his price tag, questionable glove, declining arm, and erratic offense. But we’d also be lying if we said nobody would be intrigued by taking him on their team for 2022 if the Yankees were looking to strike a deal.