He has fallen out of favor with the New York Yankees so the time may be right for the Washington Nationals to buy low on Gary Sanchez.
Gary Sanchez has fallen a long way since finishing second in the Rookie of the Year voting and securing two All-Star appearances. Sandwiched in between those trips to the All-Star game was a year where he hit .186. Most recently, Sanchez is coming off a season where he hit .147 with an OPS of .618.
The Yankees are openly frustrated with the play of Sanchez and sent a pretty strong message, with how little he played in the ALDS, taking a backseat to Kyle Higashioka. Higashioka hit .308 in 13 at-bats during the series, Sanchez was 0-4 with three strikeouts.
While Sanchez is playing his way out of The Big Apple, the Washington Nationals are in the market for a catcher. The gap between the best (J.T. Realmuto), and the rest of free agent catchers about to hit the market is wide. With the potential he has, Sanchez slots closer to Realmuto than the others.
While Sanchez is coming off a down year, one where he struck out in 41% of his at-bats, the Yankees won’t be in sell-low mode. Sanchez hit 34 home runs a year ago, and throws out over 30% of attempted base stealers for his career. He is under team control for another two years and made just $5M this past season.
For the Nationals to pry Sanchez away he may cost some minor league talent the Nationals just don’t have. Both the Nationals and Yankees have the same weakness when it comes to the bullpen as well, leaving the Nationals unable to part with any major league ready arms.
Even though general manager Mike Rizzo likes to trade, the Yankees haven’t been routine trade partners during his tenure. In the 11 years Rizzo has been the GM, the two teams have completed just four minor trades.
The Nationals should not spend the money Realmuto is asking for and should instead inquire on the services of Sanchez. He is one of the better options out there for the Nationals to have for the next couple of years. Maybe a change of scenery is what he needs to get back on track.
I’m all for Rizzo making a call over to Brian Cashman and trying to find some common ground here. Time to see if these trade talks can gain some traction.