Yankees GM Brian Cashman says teams have called to inquire about trading for catcher Gary Sanchez. But despite the interest and the fact that Sanchez had an awful year in 2018, Cashman says he is unavailable.
"He will be our starting catcher next year," Cashman told Michael Kay on Wednesday during an appearance on ESPN Radio.
"I think some bad luck early led to trying too hard ... and then his confidence wavered," Cashman said. "I think toward the end of the regular season, and in the second season, you saw he started to get his mojo back."
The "mojo" Cashman is referring to includes the two homers Sanchez hit in Game 2 of the ALDS at Fenway Park. Overall in the Yankees' four-game ALDS loss, Sanchez hit .200/.235/.667 with two homers and one double (his only hits) in 17 plate appearances while striking out five times.
During the regular season, the 25-year-old Sanchez regressed significantly for a second-straight year while playing in just 89 games as he was limited due to a groin injury.
The drop in offensive production from Sanchez's rookie campaign in 2016 has been glaring. Statlines below...
.299/.376/.657 with 20 homers in 53 games
.278/.345/.531 with 33 homers in 122 games
.186/.291/.406 with 18 homers in 89 games
A look at Sanchez's advanced numbers show that it isn't only bad luck that's holding him back. His BABIP in 2018 was an incredibly low .197, and here are some reasons why...
- His home run per fly ball rate was 40 percent in 2016, 25.4 percent in 2017, and 18.2 percent in 2018.
- His line drive percentage dropped from 21.1 percent in 2017 to 14.3 percent in 2018.
- His hard hit percentage in 2018 was the lowest of his career -- down more than 6 percent from 2016.
In addition to the drop in the offensive production of Sanchez is the concern about his defense and whether he can be an answer behind the plate long-term.
For now, though, Cashman and the Yankees are sticking with him.