The New York Yankees watched the rival Boston Red Sox win the World Series after getting eliminated by them in the ALDS last season. Instead of adding the top free agents on the market, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman made smart, cheap moves in on the open market.
However, none of them are going to increase the team's chances of winning the World Series in meaningful terms.
No, that responsibility rests with catcher Gary Sanchez.
The Yankees: Gary Sanchez is the key https://t.co/eotlFOLjAU— New York Post Sports (@nypostsports) March 27, 2019
The Bombers had World Series-or-bust written all over them last season after they acquired Giancarlo Stanton from the Miami Marlins. In fact, the plan was for Sanchez to follow Stanton and Aaron Judge as the fourth super-weapon in the lineup, creating a new murderer's row to strike fear in hearts across the league.
Unfortunately, El Gary batted a dismal .188 with 94 strikeouts in 323 at bats. To go along with those hitting statistics, was his defensive game behind the plate. Sanchez also led the entire league with 18 passed balls, which in turn cost New York some games.
The struggles didn't end there, as he dealt with two groin strains throughout the season, limiting him to just 89 appearances. He also had shoulder issues that resulted in a need to get surgery at the end of the year.
Stand up double for Gary Sanchez pic.twitter.com/IGf9ko4xNV— YES Network (@YESNetwork) March 19, 2019
The Kraken originally burst onto the big league scene to much fanfare, showcasing incredible power and major upside. But the love later turned to hate, disappointment, and vitriol from a fan base that has gone without a World Series title since 2009.
If the Yankees want to hoist their 28th Commissioner's Trophy in 2019, they need Sanchez to replicate his 2017 season both at the plate and behind it. Anything less puts the Pinstripes at risk of falling disappointingly short once again.