1. Red Sox: Christian Vazquez
Last offseason, the Yankees pawned off a player — who they felt was making too much money and hindering their financial flexibility — to the Red Sox. Maybe Boston will attempt the same this offseason?
Like the last scenario, this would probably require a preceding or following Sánchez trade. Could Christian Vazquez, who we’d like to believe was screwed out of a $1 million bonus after falling four at-bats short of the incentive threshold in 2021, be on the block this offseason, especially after it was rumored he was nearly dealt to the Rays in 2020?
Outside of a really good shortened 2020, above-average full 2019 season, and killing the Yankees in the 2018 ALDS, Vazquez doesn’t have a ton to offer. Sánchez is much better than him offensively, but, again, the defense is a factor here, because if Sánchez isn’t pulling his weight in the batter’s box, then his detrimental defense is costing the Yankees runs.
Vazquez put up a 1.3 dWAR in 2021 along with 5 Defensive Runs Saved. He even dabbled at first, second and third base at various parts of the year (though most of his work came behind the plate). He’s also possesses a demonstrative personality that the Yankees’ roster is lacking. But is that worth paying him $7 million per season as opposed to Sánchez’s ~$8 million? That’s for the front office to decide.
But after a down 2021, there’s no doubt the Yankees would have to surrender very little for Vazquez in such an event. Or, hey, maybe they ask the Red Sox to eat, say $2-3 million of his salary and use him as the backup catcher? That might be a little farfetched, but if the Yankees are trying to get better, that’ll help!
Truth be told, we don’t envision a Yankees-Red Sox trade, but this is the only match that might make a shred of sense if the two sides were to talk about anything. In any event, expect Sánchez to be the starting catcher next year because that’s just what’s probably going to happen.