New York Yankees should trade Gary Sanchez for J.T. Realmuto

New York Yankees' Gary Sanchez follows through on a solo home run in the ninth inning during Saturday's baseball game against the Kansas City Royals on May 19, 2018, at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo. (John Sleezer/Kansas City Star/TNS via Getty Images)
New York Yankees' Gary Sanchez follows through on a solo home run in the ninth inning during Saturday's baseball game against the Kansas City Royals on May 19, 2018, at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo. (John Sleezer/Kansas City Star/TNS via Getty Images) /
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If the Miami Marlins want Gary Sanchez as part of a package for J.T. Realmuto, the New York Yankees should pull the trigger.

The New York Yankees undoubtedly have an embarrassment of riches, particularly on the offensive side of the ball. When they traded for Giancarlo Stanton last offseason, it looked like the trio of Stanton, Aaron Judge, and Gary Sanchez could combine for upwards of 120 home runs. However, they “only” combined for 83 dingers due to a combination of injuries and disappointing performance, but with power throughout their lineup, the Yankees still broke the single-season record for home runs by a team.

While it may seem silly to complain about wins left on the table for a 100-win squad, but the Yankees are in the unfortunate situation of being in the same division as another powerhouse, the reigning World Series champion Boston Red Sox. Every win matters if the Yankees want to compete for the AL East in 2019, and they could help their chances by upgrading at catcher.

Jon Heyman of Fancred Sports reported that the Yankees are willing to include Gary Sanchez in a trade for J.T. Realmuto, but are wary to include other blue-chip prospects in a deal. Sanchez clearly disappointed in 2018, posting a meager .186 batting average while playing in just 89 games due to injury.

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It is easy to dismiss 2018 as an aberration for Sanchez after he burst onto the scene in 2016 and followed that with a very successful sophomore campaign. But let’s not pretend that Sanchez is an established star. While he was undoubtedly great in 2016 and 2017, he only played in 175 games in that span, so it’s very possible that the 2018 iteration of Gary Sanchez is closer to his true self. For what it’s worth, Sanchez also faced criticism for both a lack of hustle and poor defense in 2018.

While Gary Sanchez has greater name-recognition playing in New York, J.T. Realmuto is a better player than Sanchez, and that was made evident in 2018. Realmuto led all catchers with a 4.8 Fangraphs WAR, while Sanchez slotted in at just 1.4.

Replacing Gary Sanchez with J.T. Realmuto would make the Yankees better in 2019, and if the Marlins are willing to ship Realmuto to New York for Sanchez and one or two marginal prospects, the Yankees should pull the trigger.

One question remains: does this trade make any sense from the Marlins’ perspective? Clearly, the Marlins do not expect to contend in the next two years that Realmuto is under team control, but would they be ready to compete before Sanchez is a free agent after the 2022 season? The Marlins have plenty of suitors for the game’s premier catcher, and it seems like they are looking for blue-chip prospects rather than MLB talent.

But a Sanchez trade could create opportunities for the Marlins to achieve their goals. A three-team trade could work, where Realmuto goes to the Yankees, Sanchez goes to the third team, and the third team sends prospects to Miami. Another option is the Marlins could use Sanchez as trade-bait, either now or in the future, hoping that he is able to rebuild his value in Miami.

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The New York Yankees would improve their team by replacing Gary Sanchez with J.T. Realmuto, and certain situations could make a trade make sense for both New York and Miami.