This time the Yankees are at least contemplating a trade of Gary Sanchez.
Sanchez endured a terrible 2020 season, getting replaced as the starting catcher in the playoffs by Kyle Higashioka. Now, two sources have told The Post, that the Yankees will at minimum listen to offers on Sanchez.
They’ve been in touch with Yadier Molina’s agent, as first reported by MLB Network.
The Yankees want a full understanding of what DJ LeMahieu will cost to keep or if he is staying before they decide any significant allocation elsewhere.
Sanchez was awarded $5 million in arbitration last offseason and will likely get a small raise heading into 2021 despite his recent poor results. But the Yankees are determined not to give him away and will also have to figure out how they would replace Sanchez behind the plate.
While they have been in contact with the free agent Molina, he’s 38 and coming off a subpar season at the plate. The future Hall of Famer is said to be looking for a two-year deal and his acquisition would not save the Yankees any money.
James McCann is another potential target, but he won’t come cheap, either, after two stellar offensive seasons with the White Sox.
Among the factors the Yankees are weighing before moving on from Sanchez is how they plan to handle LeMahieu’s free agency.
LeMahieu, as expected, rejected the Yankees’ $18.9 million qualifying offer this week and figures to be in line for a three or four-year deal that could cost upwards of $70 million.
Until LeMahieu’s market becomes clear, the Yankees seem unlikely to make a move with Sanchez or any other player.
Sanchez, who hit 34 homers and was an All-Star in 2019, started just two games in the playoffs after he hit .147 and struck out 64 times in 178 plate appearances during the coronavirus-shortened regular season.
General manager Brian Cashman acknowledged Sanchez’s future was in doubt following the postseason.
“It’s certainly a fair question, the way Gary Sanchez’s season transpired and the way it ended with [Higashioka] actually starting in the postseason as many games as he did,’’ Cashman said in October of the Yankees’ catching situation. “It’s one of the discussion points we’re gonna have to focus on.”
Sanchez could end up playing in the Dominican Winter League, joining Miguel Andujar and Domingo German with Toros del Este in the Dominican Republic, although that decision isn’t expected to be made until next month.