MLB rumors: Yankees see free-agent market drying up for catchers

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Will he stay or will he go?

That’s what the New York Yankees need to decide about Gary Sanchez.

The 28-year-old catcher is coming off his third straight subpar season and is eligible for arbitration this winter.

It’s not out of the realm of possibilities that the Yankees non-tender Sanchez and move on from the two-time All-Star.

Problem is, there aren’t a lot of free-agency options for replacements.

Per MLB Trade Rumors, “The Braves announced (last week) that they’ve signed veteran catcher Manny Pina to a two-year contract worth $8MM. (Atlanta is one of the few organizations that publicly discloses financial terms.) Pina will earn $3.5MM in 2022 and $4.5MM in 2023. The contract also has a $4MM club option for the 2024 season, which does not come with a buyout.”

ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports “Catcher Pedro Severino and the Milwaukee Brewers are in agreement on a one-year, $1.9 million contract, pending physical, sources familiar with the deal tell ESPN. Severino, 28, will join Omar Narvaez at catcher and has incentives in the deal that can earn him another $400,000.”

That leaves Yan Gomes as the best catcher on the open market. And he’s 34 years old, so he’s not exactly a long-term solution behind the plate.

The trade market might be the Yankees’ best option, with the Chicago Cubs shopping Willson Contreras. The Athletic reports “Potential trade partners include the Marlins and Yankees, who have the biggest needs for an upgrade at catcher.”

The 29-year-old Contreras is a two-time All-Star and is eligible for arbitration this winter, according to Spotrac.

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Mike Rosenstein may be reached at mrosenstein@njadvancemedia.com.