Although Brian Cashman said earlier in the offseason that he’s willing to listen to offers on anyone and even publicly stating he’s willing to move closer Andrew Miller and outfielder Brett Gardner, it’s been a quiet one until now.
According to MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch, free-agent catcher Tyler Flowers is choosing between three teams – the Yankees, Braves, and Rays.
The #Yankees have reached out to free agent catcher Tyler Flowers. They’re interested in having him serve as Brian McCann’s backup.
— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) December 8, 2015
Tyler Flowers is said to be deciding between the Yankees, Braves & Rays. — Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) December 8, 2015
Flowers hit .239 with nine home runs and drove in 39 runs in 112 games for the White Sox last season.
It’s a bit surprising to see the Yankees interested in Flowers, or any free-agent catcher for that matter, when they have a young catching prospect in Gary Sanchez. He hit .274/.330/.485 with 18 home runs and 62 RBIs combined at Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton-Wilkes Barre. In the Arizona Fall League, he hit .295 while belting seven homers and driving in 21 runs in just 88 at-bats.
Brian McCann is entering his age-32 season, also the third of a five-year deal he signed with the Bombers two offseasons ago, so they might be looking for more options at the catcher position and want Sanchez to continue his improvements in the minors. Although the promising catcher has made his case to back up McCann for the upcoming season, the team is most likely looking to wait until McCann’s fourth year on his deal, at least, to call up Sanchez so he can play and learn alongside a veteran.