NL Central team emerges as frontrunner for ex-Yankees backstop

Former player of the New York Yankees Garry Sanchez
Esteban Quiñones
Wednesday February 7, 2024

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Former New York Yankees catcher, Gary Sanchez, is being considered as a potential addition to an NL Central team, specifically the Pittsburgh Pirates, reports Robert Murray on Foul Territory. At 31 years old, Sanchez last played for the San Diego Padres in 2023, during which he recorded 19 home runs.

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The Pirates, whose top prospect Henry Davis debuted in the big leagues in 2023, could benefit from Sanchez’s potential acquisition. Davis, aged 24, has faced scrutiny regarding his defensive capabilities, having appeared in only two games behind the plate. Landing Sanchez could alleviate some of the pressure on Davis, facilitating his development within the team.

Sanchez is expected to command a salary in the vicinity of $5 million, a figure that might deter some teams unless they are convinced of his ability to deliver performance akin to his tenure with the Padres. Notably, Sanchez played a role in Blake Snell’s Cy Young-winning season, which could serve as a compelling factor for potential suitors.

During his tenure with the Yankees, Sanchez showcased the potential to be a formidable home run hitter, notably hitting 33 home runs and achieving a slash line of .278/.345/.531 in 2017, a season in which he secured his sole Silver Slugger award and earned his first All-Star selection.

However, Sanchez’s departure from the Yankees was less than ideal, as frustrations mounted among fans regarding his performance, prompting the front office to seek alternative options. Consequently, Sanchez was part of a trade that saw him and Gio Urshela heading to the Minnesota Twins in exchange for Josh Donaldson and Isiah Kiner-Falefa.

Since departing from the Yankees, Sanchez has traversed several organizations, with the Pittsburgh Pirates emerging as a potential destination in his ongoing journey.

In essence, Sanchez’s potential addition to the Pirates roster signifies a strategic move to bolster their catching department and potentially provide stability and mentorship for emerging talents like Henry Davis. While his past performances showcase his capability as a power hitter, his future in the NL Central, if the deal materializes, remains to be seen. As the baseball season approaches, the anticipation surrounding Sanchez’s next move intensifies, with fans and analysts alike eagerly awaiting the outcome of negotiations and the subsequent impact on the Pirates’ lineup.

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