What Happened to Gary Sanchez?

Frank Jones

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What Happened to Gary Sanchez

Gary Sánchez was once considered a rising star in Major League Baseball, with his impressive power at the plate and his strong arm behind it. He burst onto the scene with the New York Yankees in 2016, hitting 20 home runs in just 53 games and finishing second in Rookie of the Year voting.

However, in recent years, Sánchez’s performance has declined, leading to his current status as a free agent without a team as the 2022 season approaches.

In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at what happened to Gary Sánchez, including his decline with the Yankees, his brief stint with the Minnesota Twins, and his current free agent status.

Decline With the New York Yankees

Gary Sánchez’s early success with the Yankees was nothing short of spectacular. After his impressive debut in 2016, he followed it up with an even more impressive 2017 campaign, hitting .278 with 33 home runs and 90 RBIs in just 122 games.

He was also named an All-Star for the first time in his career that year.

However, Sánchez’s performance began to decline in the following years. In 2018, he hit just .186 and struck out 94 times in 89 games, leading some to question whether his success was a fluke.

He bounced back somewhat in 2019, hitting 34 home runs and driving in 77 runs, but his batting average was still just .232 and his defense behind the plate continued to be a liability.

In 2020, Sánchez’s struggles reached a new low. In the shortened season, he hit just .147 with a .618 OPS, striking out 64 times in 178 plate appearances.

His defense also continued to be a problem, as he allowed 7 passed balls and had a league-high 3 errors at the catcher position.

Given his declining performance and the emergence of other catching options for the Yankees, including Kyle Higashioka, the team decided to non-tender Sánchez after the 2020 season.

This made him a free agent, and he was free to sign with any team he chose.

Signing With the Minnesota Twins

After being non-tendered by the Yankees, Sánchez signed a one-year contract with the Minnesota Twins for the 2021 season. The deal was worth $2.5 million and gave Sánchez a chance to revive his career with a new team.

Unfortunately, Sánchez’s struggles continued in 2021. He hit just .201 with a .622 OPS and struck out 99 times in 316 plate appearances. His batting average was the lowest of his career, and his strikeout rate of 31.3% was among the highest in the league.

However, Sánchez did manage to hit 22 home runs, which was tied for the most on the Twins roster.

Sánchez’s power numbers were somewhat encouraging, as he continued to show the ability to hit the ball out of the park. However, his overall offensive production was still well below his early career standards.

His defense also remained an issue, as he allowed 8 passed balls and had a caught stealing rate of just 15%.

Overall, Sánchez’s brief stint with the Twins did little to improve his resume or his standing as a free agent. While his power numbers were still impressive, his struggles with batting average, strikeout rate, and defense continued to hold him back.

Sánchez’s Current Free Agency

As of April 18, 2023, Gary Sánchez remains a free agent without a team. Despite his past success and power numbers, his recent decline in performance and defensive issues have made teams hesitant to sign him.

However, it’s still possible that he could sign with a team in the near future, especially if he’s willing to accept a one-year deal and the opportunity to prove himself.

Some potential landing spots for Sánchez in 2022 could include teams in need of catching depth or power off the bench.

For example, the Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, and Los Angeles Angels are all teams that could potentially use an upgrade at the catcher position, and Sánchez could provide a power boost to their lineups.

Additionally, Sánchez could also look to sign with a team in need of a designated hitter or backup first baseman. The Seattle Mariners and Kansas City Royals are two teams that have recently shown interest in signing Sánchez, and they both have openings at DH or first base.

Ultimately, Sánchez’s future remains uncertain as he continues to search for a team to sign with. However, his past success and power potential could still make him an attractive option for teams in need of offensive firepower, and he could still have a productive career ahead of him if he’s able to turn things around.

Gary Sánchez’s offensive statistics during his first three full seasons in the Major Leagues:

SeasonGames PlayedHome RunsBatting AverageOn-Base PercentageSlugging PercentageOPSOPS+

This table shows how Sánchez’s offensive performance declined after his breakout 2017 season, with a significant drop in batting average and on-base percentage in 2018.

However, he still maintained his power hitting ability with 18 home runs in 89 games that season. In 2019, Sánchez bounced back with 34 home runs, but his batting average remained low. His OPS+ during this period shows that he was still a productive hitter despite his struggles in some areas.

Frequently Asked Questions

What were Sánchez’s strengths during his early success with the Yankees?

Sánchez was known for his power hitting and ability to hit home runs. He hit 20 home runs in just 53 games during his rookie season in 2016 and followed that up with 33 home runs in 2017. He also had a strong throwing arm and was able to control the running game with his ability to gun down baserunners.

What were some of the factors that contributed to Sánchez’s decline with the Yankees?

There were several factors that contributed to Sánchez’s decline with the Yankees. One factor was his struggles with pitch framing and blocking pitches, which led to a decrease in his defensive value. Additionally, he struggled with consistency at the plate, often swinging and missing at pitches outside of the strike zone. Injuries also played a role, as Sánchez battled groin and shoulder issues that affected his performance.

How did Sánchez’s offensive performance compare to other catchers in the league during his tenure with the Yankees?

Despite his struggles in recent years, Sánchez’s offensive performance was still among the best in the league for catchers during his time with the Yankees. He led all catchers in home runs in 2017 and was tied for second in 2018. His OPS+ (on-base plus slugging adjusted for league and park factors) was also well above average for catchers during his early success with the team.

How much is Sánchez’s defensive performance affecting his free agency status?

Sánchez’s defensive struggles are certainly a factor in his free agency status, as teams are looking for catchers who can provide both offense and defense. His issues with pitch framing, blocking, and throwing out baserunners have made teams hesitant to sign him. However, his power potential at the plate could still make him an attractive option for teams in need of a power hitter.

To Recap

Gary Sánchez’s career has been marked by both incredible highs and significant lows. After bursting onto the scene with the Yankees in 2016 and 2017, his performance began to decline in recent years, culminating in his non-tendering by the team after the 2020 season.

Sánchez signed with the Minnesota Twins for the 2021 season, but his struggles with batting average, defense, and strikeouts continued. As of now, he remains a free agent, but he could still provide value to a team in need of a power hitter or depth at the catcher or designated hitter positions.

Whether or not he’s able to turn things around remains to be seen, but there’s no denying that he’s had a fascinating and at times, frustrating career in Major League Baseball.

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