3 Yankees offseason missed connections that sting the most
2. Jacob Stallings
The New York Yankees had every intention of upgrading their defense at catcher this offseason, it seems.
Even though they pretended, back in November, that they were perfectly set to move forward with Gary Sánchez. One more year! One more year! One more year!
So, here we are. New York wanted a defensive upgrade, but they’re left with Ben Rortvedt, his career .169 average, and his sore oblique, while the Miami Marlins get to move forward with Jacob Stallings.
The Red Sox pursued Stallings, then backed off. The Pirates had Stallings, and all the Yankees do is make trades with the Pirates. That’s, like, their whole thing! And yet. And yet!!
Stallings, 32 years old, was worth 3.0 WAR in 374 at-bats in 2021. He’s far from a superstar, and isn’t someone who is a mortal lock to catch 130 games on a World Series contender. But he’s got a Gold Glove and a better pedigree than Rortvedt — and, again, plenty of people were chasing him.
How much did the deal cost? Just two top-30 Marlins prospects in Connor Scott and Kyle Nicolas, as well as right-hander Zach Thompson. Didn’t the Yankees have a bunch of 40-man guys they had to get rid of this winter? Again, we’re just connecting dots.
Apparently, though, the Yankees were too set on Sánchez to go for Stallings … until they traded Sánchez and obtained someone who might someday grow up to be Stallings. Doesn’t a Stallings/Higashioka platoon sound more appealing than what we’re about to wade into?
Unfortunately, Derek Jeter sniped Brian Cashman here, and the two catchers passed like ships in the night.