Yankees fans are understandably opposed to trading Gary Sanchez for J.T. Realmuto. What if the Marlins gave up more in the deal?
It’s hard to imagine Gary Sanchez suffering through a worse season than he did in 2018. That’s precisely why this winter is the worst time to deal the talented catcher. His value has never been lower. Despite that fact, the Yankees have engaged the Marlins in initial discussions about swapping Sanchez for J.T. Realmuto.
Predictably, Yankees fans on social media have universally panned this idea. For all of his faults, Sanchez has the potential to be one of the best hitters in baseball. His combination of power and bat control gives him an MVP ceiling if everything breaks right in his career.
Of course, his defensive deficiencies are very real. He struggles mightily to block routine pitches behind the plate. There’s optimism inside the organization that he can drastically improve that weakness, but there are no guarantees.
Realmuto, on the other hand, is a finished product. He’s already one of the best catchers in baseball. He may not have the ceiling that Sanchez possesses, but he’s already a consistent All-Star. It’s worth noting he’s two years older than his Yankees counterpart, but he posted a WAR of 4.3 for a putrid Marlins team last season. That’s three more wins than Sanchez gave New York.
It really shouldn’t surprise anyone that the two teams are talking about a potential swap. The presence of Derek Jeter and several other former Yankees officials in Miami makes it an easy phone call to facilitate. It’s important to note that no deal is anywhere close to imminent, but the idea of trading the two catchers has been bandied about.
The Yankees can’t afford to make this a one for one move. Realmuto is a really good player, but he’s never going to be more than he is right now. He might help the Yankees for the next season or two, but Sanchez will almost certainly eclipse him soon.
That doesn’t mean Brian Cashman and company shouldn’t be exploring a potential deal. It just means that a Sanchez for Realmuto swap would be a weak deal. If the Marlins are willing to sweeten their end of the bargain, this deal could grow legs.
If Miami was willing to include a borderline top-10 prospect like Braxton Garrett or Trevor Rogers it could be enough to make this deal work for the Yankees. Cashman isn’t going to pry someone like Victor Mesa or Sandy Alcantara away from the Marlins, but a lesser prospect might be possible.
In the end, it’s very likely the Marlins would refuse to sweeten the deal in any way, shape or form. If that’s the case, the Yankees should just hang on to Sanchez. That’s not a bad outcome at all.