The non-tender deadline (date when you have to decide if you're going to offer a contract to pre-arb and arb guys) has passed and the Yankees have decided to bring back Gary Sanchez for 2021 as of this moment. To me this was a no brainer given the situation. Listen, you're not just going to cut Gary Sanchez and let him play somewhere else next season for nothing in return. That could only lead to one outcome and that's an All-Star revived season to fuck us in the face. Was Gary Sanchez horrific in 2020? No question. Has his overall value dipped since his incredible 2017 season? Definitely, but you don't just cut ties with him over giving him a one year $6 million deal. Tender him a contract and either trade him for something or hope he figures his shit out and comes back next season on a mission.
Gary is playing winter ball right now doing whatever he can to right the ship. A player who doesn't give a shit would not be playing winter ball as a 28 year old I promise you that. All the narratives about him being fat and lazy are just driven by critics. The fact is that this dude cares and works his tail off to try and help the Yankees win baseball games. That's not just me saying that. Every teammate of Gary's we talk to says the exact same thing. When Gary is cooking the Yankees are at their best. They go into every game with the advantage at the catcher position aside from facing J.T Realmuto. When Gary is right he's one of the best offensive catchers in the history of the game (look at 2016 and 2017 if you think that's an exaggeration).
The fact is that since 2017 that player has all but vanished and only come back in streaks.
Everything kinda fell off the rails in 2020, but that doesn't mean the 28 year old can't bounce back. We had catcher Erik Kratz on today's Short Porch and he could not have more good things to say about Gary the player.
Okay maybe a little over the top there with the Piazza statement, but if you look at what he's capable of in 2017 I mean we're talking historic numbers out of the catcher position.
If I'm New York I'm bringing him back for one more year and not guaranteeing him the starter's role. Kyle Higashioka more than proved he can handle extra work, especially with the magic he was able to create with Gerrit Cole. Make Gary have to earn the starting role in Spring Training and maybe that will unlock something in him. People want to bring in Yadier Molina. I go back and forth on him to be honest. A Cardinals beat writer recently said the Yankees have made the biggest push for him, but I tend to believe that's just smoke to try and motivate St. Louis to up their offer. At Gary's present value Yadi would for sure be an upgrade offensively and defensively, but if Gary is able to wind back the clock a few years then it's not even close to compare what they can give you. It's a tricky situation no doubt, but with the Yankees minor league catching prospects not ready yet, you might as well roll the dice one more time and try to find that magic.
Anyways, listen to our interview with Erik Kratz today. Dude is a ton of fun talking about fucking with Yankees teammates on the team bus, mentoring the young guys in the minors and big league clubs, his retirement, loving collisions at home plate, and a whole lot more. Interview gets cooking at the 20 minute mark.