One thing Yankees fans know about Gary Sánchez: even in his darkest times, with the highest number of balls bouncing behind him, the slugger still struck fear in the hearts of the Boston Red Sox.
As Sánchez sits on the shelf for an excruciatingly long time this offseason — his first shot at free agency — it feels as if he’ll either end up on a team that’s entirely irrelevant to the Yankees’ pursuits, free to continue working on his technique, or he’ll end up directly in their backyard. No in between.
MLB Trade Rumors’ Simon Hampton added to the speculation this week by connecting Sánchez’s dormant free agency to the (shudder) Red Sox, who are in need of a catcher to play alongside Reese McGuire, and might still believe in Sánchez at the position.
At the very least, their wall is only 210 feet away (estimated distance):
"Sanchez has never been regarded as one of the top defensive catchers, but did post his best framing numbers per Fangraphs’ metric since 2018, and gave up the fewest wild pitches of his career (excluding the shortened 2020 season and 2016, when he didn’t play a full year). While a number of teams have filled their vacancy at catcher, the likes of the Red Sox, Tigers and Marlins could be among the teams interested."
Sánchez is, by technicality, the best remaining catcher on the free agent market. The Red Sox do have some DH/C money floating around, despite the Justin Turner signing, after Christian Vázquez took the bait in Minnesota. Do they dare?
Gary Sánchez being connected to the Red Sox is a bitter pill for Yankees fans
Fingers crossed for the Marlins. Love that Miami Marlins connection. Shoot a text over to Aroldis Chapman, make it happen!
Sánchez proved well before the 2021 season wrapped that he had no clear place in the Yankees’ future, and “falling out of favor” is an understatement for what happened at the end of his tenure in pinstripes. The odds are low that he’ll ever get back to his dominant self — or even his palatable self, considering his below-average 89 OPS+ in Minnesota, long after the team allowed him to split DH reps and focus on hitting.
That said, if he’s ever going to find “it” again, he’s more likely to do it at that bandbox in Boston with revenge on his mind than anywhere else. Remember how he greeted Jameson Taillon on his way into the Bronx last fall?
Sánchez will receive a third chance this offseason, sometime before spring training. Hopefully, Cameron Maybin’s projected landing spot is correct, and nobody has to worry about whether Sánchez is more Mike Stanley or Marwin González.