STAMFORD, Conn. – Gary Sanchez is the Yankees' catcher, and Brian Cashman will repeat that as many times as it will take people to believe him.
Cashman on Sunday evening denied rumors that the Yankees have any interest in sending Sanchez to the Marlins in an attempt to obtain one of the best catchers in the game in J.T. Realmuto. Reports about a potential move circulated last week, with those hot stove rumors saying the Yankees (along with a handful of other teams) were in the mix for Realmuto. FanCred’s Jon Heyman reported that the Yankees balked at packaging Sanchez with other big pieces but had inquired about Realmuto.
“Nothing [has changed]. I would say, follow my words,” Cashman said when asked if Sanchez still is the Yankees' catcher. “Anybody who’s saying otherwise is going to – as of right now, they’d be wrong, completely. We’re not talking about Gary Sanchez with anybody, although I’ve been asked. Teams have asked, and if people have connections with those teams, they’ll say yeah, we asked and we were told immediately that we’re not moving Gary Sanchez.”
Sanchez, who had a .186/.291/.406 slash line, 18 homers and 53 RBIs in 89 games and struggled defensively in 2018, recently underwent surgery on his non-throwing shoulder. Cashman said he believes it affected his hitting and that the Yankees hope and believe he’ll bounce back next season. Sanchez had experienced discomfort in the shoulder dating to 2017.
Realmuto has two years left in his contract with the Marlins, who have made it no secret that they’re willing to shop their top talent. Sanchez won’t be arbitration-eligible until 2020.
“False, false, completely false,” Cashman said when asked specifically if the Yankees had offered Sanchez for Realmuto in any way. “I think I saw somebody writing that we had offered for Realmuto. That’s completely false.”
That said, Cashman expects some major moves to be made soon -- hopefully, he said, by the end of the winter meetings in mid-December. He has not been told whether free-agent lefthander Patrick Corbin, who met with the Yankees, Nationals and Phillies last week, is close to a decision. If that falls through, the Yankees could re-sign J.A. Happ. Cashman also said he’ll be heavily invested in the trade market.
“We have a number of things to accomplish that I consider heavy lifting,” he said. “We need to fill our club out and the time is starting to shrink a little bit on that.”
Cashman said the Yankees were involved in early talks with the Mariners regarding Robinson Cano, who has been traded to the Mets, according to sources. The financial commitment – Cano has five years and $120 million left on his contract – stalled the talks.
From a Mets perspective, Cashman appeared to approve of their deal with the Mariners, which would acquire Cano and closer Edwin Diaz in exchange for Jay Bruce, Anthony Swarzak and three highly regarded prospects.
“I think the Mets got a great player,” he said. “They got two great players. They got Diaz and they got Cano and both will obviously help in the win effort in 2019 and beyond. They’re a better team today because they made these moves.”