Several recent reports have suggested that Gary Sanchez is going to be a free agent very soon due to the possibility the Yankees may not offer him a contract.
Here’s the thing about Gary Sanchez:
He turns 28 years old this Wednesday.
Even with a likely bump in salary via arbitration he’s cheap.
He’s a better than league average at his position.
The only reason this is a discussion is because people allow personal biases to create perceived flaws, and over-inflate real ones. This causes them to ignore facts and what is really happening on the baseball field. I get it when it comes from fans, but people who get paid to make baseball decisions need to know better.
Please don’t bother coming at me with a list of his imperfections – I see them too. As Michael Kay, in his typical condescending manner of unearned superiority pointed out this week, we all have eyes. I’m not claiming Sanchez is Johnny Bench laying in wait. But here are the facts:
Since 2016, 17 catchers have had 1,500 PA or more. Sanchez in 1st in OPS+, and 5th in WAR.
OK, OK, you’re a “but he’s not improving”, “what have you done lately” fan. Cool – so let’s remove the torrid start to his career and just look at his production since 2018 (reminder – he played much of ’18 at less than 100% health):
Since 2018, 21 catchers have had 750 PA or more. Sanchez is 8th in OPS+ and 11th in WAR.
Whatever your criticisms are do not change the fact that he is a better than league average major league catcher. He’s relatively young and comes relatively cheap. If you’re the Yankees, you need to either offer him a contract, or go to arbitration and get this done.
Don’t forget, I’ve been telling you for two years that Kyle Higashioka is a major league catcher. Even if I’m wrong about Sanchez, the Yankees aren’t going to be left with a hole at the catcher position.
For the sake of brevity, I’m going to stop here, but I’ll leave you with this: Other local reports have suggested the Yankees are interested in Yadier Molina should they let Sanchez walk.
Trust me: You do not want Yadier Molina. More on that another time.
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