Former All-Star catcher Gary Sanchez, who had a pair of 30-homer seasons with the New York Yankees in the late 2010s, didn’t have a smooth time finding a team for the 2023 season.
The San Francisco Giants signed him to a minor league deal in early April, but was released upon his request after not making the team in early May.
Then, the New York Mets took a chance on him.
He was very good in eight games in Triple-A, with a homer and a 1.014 OPS, but struggled mightily in three games up in the majors (.310 OPS).
The Mets needed a roster spot for fellow catcher Tomas Nido, and had to designate Sanchez for assignment.
Surprisingly, someone took Sanchez on waivers, so he didn’t hit the free agent market.
It was the San Diego Padres.
The Mets had given Sanchez a $1.5 million salary, but since he was claimed and didn’t reach free agency, the Padres are on the hook for the rest of his 2023 payday.
“The Padres have claimed Gary Sánchez off waivers, the Mets announced. So the Mets are no longer on the hook for the prorated portion of his $1.5 million salary,” Mets insider Anthony DiComo tweeted.
The Padres have claimed Gary Sánchez off waivers, the Mets announced. So the Mets are no longer on the hook for the prorated portion of his $1.5 million salary.
— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) May 30, 2023
Sanchez still has plenty of pop.
He hit 16 home runs in 128 games with the Minnesota Twins last year.
However, he did it with a .205 batting average and a 28.9 percent strikeout rate.
Those are the real issues with Sanchez as an MLB catcher at this point: ability to make consistent contact and subpar defense.
If he hits with the Padres, he could force some plate appearances but it’s hard to envision him being a regular at this point.NEXT: A Mets Starter Continues To Struggle