Last week, Yankees fans went into a tizzy when Gary Sanchez trade rumors popped up. Jon Heyman reported that the Yankees discussed sending Sanchez to Miami in a swap for Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto. These stories generated a lot of buzz among the New York fanbase, dividing the camp into pro-trade and anti-trade factions.
The fracas may have been for nought, however, as Brian Cashman vehemently denied offering Sanchez in trade discussions. In an interview with Jack Curry, scheduled to air on the YES Network tonight, the Yankees General Manager offered his rational.
“He’s a special talent, and a special player — a special person. And so, I have been asked about Gary Sanchez. He’s not for sale. We’re going to be, I think, proven correct, we believe. I think we saw that in the postseason. You know, there was a lot of rumblings about — I know you’ve seen social media or the fanbase — about Romine should catch. I think people saw, you know, towards the end what Gary really is again.”
Cashman then doubled down on the comments while participating at the annual Stamford Downtown Heights and Lights event.
Cashman on Sanchez for Realmuto rumor: “False. Completely false.” #Yankees— Emmanuel Berbari (@BerbariOnAir) December 2, 2018
Brian Cashman flat out denies any rumors that the Yankees have any interest in moving Gary Sanchez. He is our catcher, he says, and any reports otherwise are totally false.— Laura Albanese (@AlbaneseLaura) December 2, 2018
What can be made of the earlier rumors? The Yankees do due diligence on all available big names. Did they talk to the Marlins? Probably! Those conversations likely didn’t go very far either. Also, teams like to use the Yankees to drive prices up. Could mentioning the possibility of Sanchez force the Astros to move Forrest Whitley in addition to Kyle Tucker? It’s a sound negotiating strategy.
The Yankees will now proceed with Sanchez as their starting catcher, and that’s a good thing. He struggled in 2018, hitting to just an 89 wRC+. He did slug 18 home runs, however, and that came with a nagging shoulder injury. It’s not hard to imagine a healthy Sanchez returning to his 2017 levels — or better.