This time of year, everything is a “sign” for the Yankees in the free agent market … until it isn’t.
We’re embedded in the glorious few weeks before a new CBA is signed and before the rumors really kick into gear where we’re totally allowed to blow friendships, chance encounters, and workout partnerships out of proportion. And you know what? That’s the way we like it.
This year, we’ve gotten a mid-November look at not one, but two recent examples of current Yankees clashing with dream targets, and both of ’em have us thinking a little deeper about roster possibilities.
One of these pairings? We should’ve seen it coming, and we hope it materializes. The other? Well, we’d never really thought about it … but it could go a long way towards shoring things up, depth-wise, if Gio Urshela gets traded.
What are we talking about?! Well, wouldn’t you like to know!
First off, what have we here? It’s Yankees catcher Gary Sánchez working out with free agent CF Starling Marte!
While some fans will be furious to see Gary and envision him as part of the team’s long-term philosophy, perhaps they’ll soften on him when they see him wooing Marte.
Yankees catcher Gary Sánchez and Starling Marte hanging out?
This allows me to pose a question to Yankees Twitter: would you ditch your interest in Marte if it meant that Sánchez would be the Yanks’ starting catcher in 2022? Think some of you would. You shouldn’t, but you would.
Marte, freshly 33 years old, would be an excellent fit in center field for the Yankees for three or four years, and the Bombers are reportedly in on him to an extent (as are the Mets). Hopefully, Marte is the one giving hitting tips in this scenario and not the other way around. Or perhaps he’s yet another new catching coach?
We also got an ironic peek behind the curtain at reliever Luis Cessa’s wedding, of all places. Cessa only just got dealt to Cincinnati, so a fair number of his ex-Yankees teammates were in attendance. Gary ditched Marte to join, as did Nasty Nestor Cortes Jr., Aroldis Chapman and Gleyber Torres.
We know this thanks to a photo with Cardinals relief ace Gio Gallegos (shipped out in the Luke Voit trade) … and ex-Yankee farmhand Donovan Solano, a free agent fresh off a three-year run of posting OPS+ marks of 116, 127, and 103 in San Francisco.
Is he a starter at age 34? Probably not. But there’s certainly value in one or two cheap years of Solano roving around your infield and filling gaps for 100 games, especially as he emerges from San Francisco’s hitting clinic. Perhaps some of these Yankees got a word in edgewise?
Maybe El Gary even promised Starling was on board, too.
Of course, in a few weeks, both of these encounters will likely be proven flashes in the pan. For now, we can dream and project. You literally cannot stop us.