If the New York Yankees decide to make a change at catcher, here are three Gary Sanchez trades Brian Cashman should consider.
After a historic rookie run in 2016 that saw the Yankee catcher hit 20 home runs in 53 games followed by an All-Star campaign in 2017, Sanchez has fallen on hard times.
He struggled to stay healthy in 2018 as in 89 games, he slashed just .186/.291/.406 with 18 home runs and 53 RBI’s. He’d return to the All-Star Game in 2019 after a 34 home run season but still struggled to get on base as he hit just .232/.314/.525
The 2020 season was a nightmare for the Yankees catcher. He slashed just .147/.253/.365 in 49 games with 10 home runs and 24 RBI’s. With his regular season struggles making him a liability, Sanchez started just two of the Yankees’ six postseason games as he lost his starting job to long-time minor leaguer and first-year backup Kyle Higashioka.
With his future in the team in doubt, here are three trades that Cashman can consider to allow both the Yankees and Sanchez a fresh start in 2021.
Yankees Get: C, Jorge Alfaro & RHP Nick Neidert
Marlins Get: C, Gary Sanchez
No deal was made between the two clubs as Realmuto was traded to the Phillies before the 2019 season and now figures to be an offseason target of the Yankees in free agency if they do part ways with Sanchez.
Even if it’s not in a Realmuto trade, the Yankees should see if Miami still has interest in Sanchez. The Marlins are fresh off a stunning 2020 season that saw them end their 17-year postseason drought and reach the ALDS after sweeping the Chicago Cubs in the Wild Card Series.
With Sanchez still on his rookie deal and having two more years of control, he’d be the perfect gamble for Derek Jeter and the Marlins if they want to signal they’re truly ready to compete year in and year out.
For the Yankees, they can look to find their short-term starting catcher and some pitching depth. Jorge Alfaro was traded to the Marlins from the Phillies in the Realmuto and still has a high-ceiling.
Alfaro hit to a .262 average in both 2018 with the Phillies and 2019 with Miami and showed power with the Marlins in 2019 as he slugged 18 home runs with 57 RBI’s. He had his struggles in 2020, but in large part that he missed much of the first half of the season recovering from COVID-19.
Another name New York should request in a Sanchez deal with Miami is right-handed pitcher Nick Neidert. Neidert is a 23-year old who is the Marlins 11th ranked prospect per MLB Pipeline. All of his minor league outings were as a starter, but in his first four MLB appearances, all coming in 2020, he pitched out of the bullpen.
Needing young arms, Neidert could be a candidate to replace a struggling Jonathan Holder as a mid-relief option in the Yankees bullpen.
This deal would give the Yankees a short-term solution as their starting catcher that could pay off as well as a much-needed depth piece for the bullpen or potentially the back end of the starting rotation.