Gary Sánchez is not going anywhere. Despite rumors that the Yankees had talked to the Miami Marlins about flipping him for fellow backstop J.T. Realmuto, Brian Cashman insisted those ideas were “completely false”.
“We’re not talking Gary Sánchez with anybody, although I’ve been asked,” Cashman said to Jack Curry in an interview to be broadcast on YES Network on Monday. “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 Sánchez.”
The Yankees certainly aren’t giving up on their 26-year-old catcher despite a disastrous 2018 that saw him bat just .186/.291/.406 (89 wRC+), lead the league in passed balls with 18 and place fifth with 45 wild pitches allowed. But, Sánchez was hampered by a groin injury that forced him to miss time on two separate occasions, and he had surgery on his balky left shoulder that could have caused him to alter his swing mechanics to manage pain.
“Without question, [the shoulder injury] was definitely a factor in irritating him this year,” Cashman said. “Obviously more so that we expected, since he had to have surgery. We look forward to him coming back and being what we saw a little in the postseason, and what we saw from him in the previous years.”
Those previous years have been incredibly productive, with Sánchez hitting .284/.354/.568 (142 wRC+) in 175 games running from 2016 to 2017. He became a lightning rod for criticism when he was thrown out at first base after a fielding miscue in Tampa Bay, and it appeared Sánchez was not hustling. It turns out he had been nursing a groin injury for weeks, and aggravated it while attempting to sprint to first base.
Sánchez did come out and hit two home runs off David Price in game two of the ALDS, which ended up being the only game the Yankees won in that series. The Yankees hope that the surgery and offseason rest will allow Sánchez to come to Tampa ready to prove his doubters wrong.