It was, truly, the end of an era.
The Yankees said goodbye to Sanchez with a heartfelt Twitter post.
“To our homegrown baby bomber, we will miss your moonshots and cannon behind the plate. Thank you for everything, Gary,” the organization tweeted.
To our homegrown baby bomber, we will miss your moonshots and cannon behind the plate.
Thank you for everything, Gary 💙 pic.twitter.com/MTVz4lhsDw
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) March 14, 2022
Sanchez was, indeed, a homegrown Yankee.
The organization signed him as an amateur free agent back in 2009, when he was 16 years old.
He had a long road in the minor leagues, but he always showed impressive, game-changing power.
He Was A Productive Hitter At A Tough Position
He needed six years, but finally made his major league debut in 2015 and was a starter in 2016, a year in which he hit 20 homers in MLB despite getting only 229 plate appearances.
He had his best season in 2018, when he hit 33 round-trippers slashed .278/.345/.531 and drove in 90 runs.
After a rough 2018 in which he hit .186, and a better 2019 (34 homers and a .232 average), he started to fall out of favor with fans due to a poor 2020 and a mediocre 2021.
Through the years, his defense behind the plate also slipped.
Many fans wanted him gone: his swing-and-miss tendencies and the popularity of the shift took away nearly all of his batting average upside.
He was, however, a reliable contributor in 2016-2019, and in the end, he gave the Yankees many happy moments through the years.
Sanchez is a flawed hitter and a below-average fielder, but he can still contribute to a major league team and has loads of power.
The Yankees took a chance and flipped him while he still had some value, but that doesn’t mean they don’t value his help.
The fact he is a Baby Bomber (a nickname for recent homegrown Yankees) makes saying goodbye a bit harder.
In the end, however, it was a necessary move for all parties.