New York, Gary Sánchez Agree to $5 Million Deal

Max Goodman

Gary Sánchez and the Yankees agreed to a one-year deal worth $5 million on Friday, per Mark Feinsand of MLB.com. Sánchez, who made less than $700,000 last year, avoids arbitration.

New York's starting catcher is one of nine Yankees eligible for arbitration ahead of Friday's 1:00 p.m. ET deadline -- the final chance for teams to agree on salaries or exchange desired numbers for 2020 with arbitration-eligible players. 

The Yankees announced that all nine arbitration-eligible players agreed to new deals -- star Aaron Judge, breakout-infielder Gio Urshela, southpaws James Paxton and Jordan Montgomery and right-handers Luis Cessa, Chad Green, Jonathan Holder and Tommy Kahnle all avoided arbitration with new contracts. 

Urshela's deal is worth $2.475 million, a deserving pay raise after the third baseman exceeded all expectations in 2019, Judge receives $8.5 million, while Paxton earns $12.5 million.

Sánchez appeared in the second All-Star Game of his five-year career in 2019 -- the 27-year-old slashed .232/.316/.525 while driving in 77 runs and launching 34 home runs (the most among all big-league catchers last season). 

He played in 106 games in 2019 -- just the second time in his career where Sánchez has played in more than 100 games in a single season. With a clear susceptibility to injuries, the Yankees are set to give Kyle Higashioka a larger role in 2020 as Sánchez's backup. The club also signed veterans Erik Kratz and Chris Iannetta to minor-league deals this offseason, addressing catching depth with the departure of longtime backup Austin Romine to free agency.

A total of 155 big leaguers were eligible for arbitration January 10. Noah Syndergaard, Francisco Lindor, Kris Bryant and Mookie Betts, for instance, all agreed to one-year deals Friday -- Betts' $27 million contract is the largest ever for a player in an arbitration-eligible season.

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