A few weeks ago, there were reports that the New York Yankees may be willing to swap catchers with the Miami Marlins. The Marlins are familiar with Sanchez because their Director of Player Development and Scouting, Gary Denbo, was with the Yankees when Sanchez was signed as an international free agent back in 2009. Also former Yankee shortstop Derek Jeter who is currently the CEO and part owner of the Marlins certainly knowns Sanchez’s skillset.
These rumors quieted down for a while but have recently resurfaced. Why would the Yankees want to make a trade involving Gary Sanchez for J.T. Realmuto? Sanchez did have an awful year in 2018 batting .186/.291/.406 with 18 home runs and 52 RBIs in 89 games. He missed a large chunk of the season due to a groin injury and he recently had surgery on his left shoulder so maybe his poor performance was because he was irritated by said injuries.
In 2017, Sanchez was an All-Star. He batted .278/.345/.531 with 131 hits, 33 home runs and 90 RBIs in 122 games. Those numbers are very similar to what Realmuto posted this season. Realmuto was an All-Star in 2018 and batted .277/.340/.484 with 132 hits, 21 home runs, and 74 RBIs. When Sanchez is on his game, they have very similar production and Sanchez has far more power.
Now lets look at the contracts. Sanchez has four more years left of control and he just turned 26. Realmuto will be 28 in March and he only has two years left of control. It would not make any sense for the Yankees to get a catcher that is two years older and has two years less control for similar offensive production.
Sanchez has had his struggles behind the plate. Mainly with blocking or sometimes even catching balls. Sanchez led the American League in passed balls in 2018 while only playing in 89 games. However, he still has a laser for an arm and calls a good game for his pitchers.
Yankees GM Brian Cashman recently stated in an interview “We’re not talking Gary Sanchez with anybody, although I’ve been asked. By the teams that have asked, poll the people who have connections to those teams and they’d say we asked and were told that they aren’t moving Gary Sanchez.”.
So it is pretty clear that Sanchez is not for sale so why would these rumors keep coming back? My guess is that the Marlins want to move Realmuto and having the Yankees as a bidder for him would drive up the price and interest from other teams so they keep leaking these rumors to the media.