After multiple failed stints with the Minnesota Twins, San Francisco Giants and New York Mets, Gary Sánchez has landed back on his feet in San Diego and is helping the Padres get back on track after a slow start to the 2023 season.
It might be a tough watch for New York Yankees fans, but others are feeling happy for the slugger, who might finally be turning it around after struggling mightily (for the most part) since the start of 2018.
The Yankees couldn't wait any longer for that, though. Sánchez had already overstayed his welcome in the Bronx and was about to be non-tendered if not for Brian Cashman's blockbuster trade with the Twins that featured Sánchez and Gio Urshela headed to Minnesota in exchange for Josh Donaldson and Isiah Kiner-Falefa. No, it wasn't great, but it kind of feels a little bit better with each passing day.
Maybe the Yankees should've considered a reunion?! Doesn't sound so crazy now, especially with how bad Jose Trevino has been offensively (.556 OPS, 57 OPS+) this season.
Sánchez has been a lightning strike for the Padres ever since joining the team, outside of his defensive gaffe that doomed them against the Marlins. He has six home runs and 15 RBI with a .981 OPS in his first 13 games, which is exactly the production Yankees fans had been hoping for since the first half of 2019 until he departed before the start of the 2022 season.
Gary Sánchez lighting it up with Padres is bittersweet for Yankees fans
This sample size, without a doubt, will normalize, but Sánchez joined the Padres on May 30 when they were 24-29. They're now 32-34 and 8-4 when El Gary starts. And he's hitting bombs like he did back in his Yankees days.
For now, it's tough to exist as a Yankees fan out in the wild with Sánchez's current hot streak paired with Aaron Hicks' success in Baltimore immediately after New York released him. And all it took was a minor tweak in his batting stance courtesy of the O's staff.
While Hicks can directly play a role in ruining the Yankees season, being in the AL East with seven matchups between the two teams remaining, at least Sánchez is all the way across the country and joined the Padres after the two teams faced off in the Bronx a couples weeks ago.
It wasn't fun watching him hit an absolute moonshot against the Bombers last season, and a repeat of that nightmare scenario will at least have to wait until the World Series (if the Yankees and Padres can eventually get it together and put together a run).
For now, though, support and success for El Gary certainly feels better than watching him bounce around the league following high-profile failures.