Mets signing Gary Sánchez echoes sad state of affairs for New York baseball

Minnesota Twins v Chicago White Sox
Minnesota Twins v Chicago White Sox / Michael Reaves/GettyImages

For a second there, New York Yankees fans thought there'd be a remote possibility the team would reunite with former slugging catcher Gary Sánchez. Well, he's not returning to the Bronx, but he's back in the Big Apple.

On Tuesday, it was reported Sánchez had signed a minor-league deal with the Mets, who, like the Yankees, have gotten off to a horrendous start to 2023 (based on offseason expectations/projections) and are now looking for any sort of shot on the arm.

Can Sánchez offer it for the Mets? That depends on whether you think he can out-hit guys like Mark Canha, Tommy Pham, Eduardo Escobar and Daniel Vogelbach. First, he'll have to make it out of Triple-A, something he failed to do during his most recent stint with the San Francisco Giants.

The Mets are 17-18, somehow good for second place in the NL East, and are getting terrible production from the catching position between Francisco Alvarez (who deserves more time, since this is his first real MLB action) and Tomas Nido.

Sánchez has been decidedly below-average since 2018, if we're to judge those seasons cumulatively. He just came off a campaign in which he OPS'ed .659 and OPS+'ed 88 across 128 games with the Twins, mostly logging reps at DH. He had a 28.9% strikeout rate and just an 8.5% walk rate. There's a reason he didn't get a major league deal before 2023.

Mets sign former Yankees catcher Gary Sánchez to minor-league contract

The Yankees couldn't afford to bring back another languishing option who's overstayed his welcome in the city following Sánchez's release from the Giants. In 16 Triple-A games this year, Sanchez hit .164 with a .501 OPS and struck out 19 times in 69 plate appearances.

Both New York teams should be striving for excellence. Instead, the Mets are taking a flyer on one of the most disappointing catchers of the last decade when they have one of the most promising top prospects in the entire league at the position. Meanwhile, the Yankees have a revolving door of mediocrity with Willie Calhoun, Jake Bauers, Aaron Hicks, Oswaldo Cabrera, Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Franchy Cordero having grabbed consistent reps over the first six weeks of the season.

What has happened to New York baseball?

The Yankees re-upped and then upgraded after a 99-win season and ALCS appearance (though still underwhelming). The Mets, after their best regular season campaign since 1986, have a payroll of $379 million and seemingly re-tooled for the better. Both plans couldn't have unfolded in a more uninspiring manner through Monday's action.

Adding Sánchez to the mix in this city only compounds the sad state of affairs. Cue the tabloid backpages.