STAMFORD, Conn. -- As baseball's Hot Stove season simmers leading up to next week's Winter Meetings, Gary Sanchez's name continues to appear in rumors. The latest came this week, when MLB Network insider Jon Heyman (writing for Fancred) mentioned Sanchez's name in trade tandem with J.T. Realmuto, whom the Marlins are actively shopping this winter.
But Yankees general manager Brian Cashman says Sanchez isn't going anywhere.
• Latest Hot Stove news, rumors
Cashman on Sunday vehemently shot down the idea that Sanchez is available, calling the proposed Realmuto-for-Sanchez offer "completely false." In doing so, Cashman echoed sentiments he's made throughout the offseason regarding his former All-Star backstop.
"I would say follow my words," Cashman said. "Anybody who is saying otherwise, as of right now, they'd be wrong, completely."
That doesn't mean teams haven't inquired about Sanchez's availability. Several have, Cashman confirmed, clarifying that any discussions regarding Sanchez have been spearheaded by other clubs and rebuffed on the Yankees' end.
Cashman's comments came after participating in the holiday-themed Heights and Lights kickoff event in downtown Stamford. As he has in previous years, Cashman rappelled down a 22-story building as part of the festivities.
He was asked about Sanchez after a clip was posted on social media of Cashman's interview with YES Network's Jack Curry, which will air Monday at 6 pm ET. In the interview, Cashman calls Sanchez "not for sale."
"We're not talking Gary Sanchez with anybody, although I've been asked," Cashman reiterated. "By the teams that have asked, poll the people who have connections to those teams and they'd say we asked and were told that they aren't moving Gary Sanchez."
• Stats show why Sanchez 'not for sale'
Part of the reason, Cashman said, is that the Yankees expect Sanchez to bounce back. They point to the nagging shoulder injury, which required surgery on Nov. 8, as at least partially to blame for Sanchez's career-worst .186/.291/.406 line in 2018, when he also missed significant time with groin ailments. Sanchez hit .283 with 53 home runs and a .920 OPS in his first 177 big league games prior to last season.
"Without question, it was definitely a factor in irritating him this year," Cashman said. "Obviously more so that we expected, since he had to have surgery. We look forward to him coming back and being what we saw a little in the postseason, and what we saw from him in the previous years."
Corbin a waiting game
Cashman said he remains "heavily engaged in the trade and free-agent markets" as they pertain to the club's priority this winter: starting pitching. The Yankees' top target in that realm appears to be Patrick Corbin, whom Cashman confirmed the club hosted this week at Yankee Stadium.
Widely viewed as the top starter on the free-agent market, Corbin also visited with the Nationals and Phillies this week. He is rumored to be weighing offers from other clubs as well.
Cashman said of Corbin's camp: "They're in the driver's seat."
Cano reunion floated
Before the Mariners and Mets reportedly worked out a blockbuster trade that is expected to send Robinson Cano (with Edwin Diaz) to Queens this week, the Yankees also checked in on the possibility of bringing Cano back to New York. Cashman said he "had early discussions" with Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto regarding the possibility, but ultimately balked for financial reasons.
The Mariners are reportedly paying $20 million of the $120 million left on Cano's contract, while the Mets will also save $36.5 million by sending Jay Bruce and Anthony Swarzak to Seattle in the deal.
"Robbie is a great guy," Cashman said. "I know he'll be happy being back in the city he loves. It's a second home for him, next to where he grew up, in the Dominican Republic. I think the Mets got two great players in Diaz and Cano. Both will help them win in 2019 and beyond. They're a better team today because they made these moves."