With the deadline upon every MLB team on Wednesday to tender a contract to arbitration-eligible players, the Yankees plan on doing just that with C Gary Sanchez for next season, according to multiple reports.
There was some doubt that GM Brian Cashman would end the Sanchez Era behind the dish given his comments at the end of the shortened season. Sanchez's struggles at the plate were forcing Cashman's hand in really thinking about what to do at catcher.
But the Yankees still believe Sanchez can turn things around and it shows with this expected tender.
"I think he's been unfairly criticized a lot," manager Aaron Boone told YES Network's Meredith Marakovits last month. "I think at times it's over the top and people are blinded by some of the things that he’s done really well."
CC Sabathia also has faith in Sanchez, saying he can "for sure" get back to his old ways at the plate.
"There are tough times in your career and you have to make an adjustment," Sabathia recently told the New York Post. "He wants to be a good catcher in the big leagues and we obviously know he has the talent to do it. Now it is time for him to get back to work and to the level of the player that we know he can be."
Toward the end of the shortened season, it became apparent that Sanchez was becoming second fiddle to Kyle Higashioka, whom Gerrit Cole preferred behind the plate when he pitched. Owning a .147/.253/.365 slash line doesn't help his case, either. And it isn't just this season. Sanchez hit .236 and .186 in 2019 and 2018, respectively.
Sanchez still possesses tons of raw power, and his 10 homers in 2020 show that. But consistency is what he's looking to get at the plate again. Boone said that he felt Sanchez was so close to figuring things out at the plate, but it never came to fruition.
He now has this offseason to figure things out before returning to Tampa come spring training and earning his job back behind the plate.