Nov. 27: Sanchez went unclaimed on waivers and will become a free agent, Rosenthal tweets. A formal announcement from the club should follow.
While he has at times been a solid contributor in Chicago, Sanchez is coming off of a rough 2019 season at the plate. There are quite a few veteran alternatives available in free agency, making it tough to pay that kind of cash to retain him.
Sanchez has been trusted with quite a lot of playing time on the South Side of late, appearing in over 140 games in each of the past three seasons. But his offensive output has declined steadily in that span, dropping from a .267/.319/.413 batting line and 95 wRC+ in 2017 — that is, five percent below league average — to last year’s .252/.318/.321 slash and 74 wRC+.
While Sanchez has maintained the same general strikeout and walk levels all along — he’s a bit below the league average with both his career 7.5% walk rate and 21.0% strikeout rate — his power has fallen off a cliff. Sanchez went from a dozen home runs and a .147 isolated power mark in 2017 to just two dingers and a .069 ISO in 2019.
What hasn’t changed is Sanchez’s excellent glovework. Whether utilized at second or third base, he has graded as a top-notch performer — even winning a Gold Glove Award for his work at second base in 2019. That makes him a strong candidate to find a landing spot as a utility piece. Barring a big upswing at the plate, however, it’s hard to imagine Sanchez as a regular lineup piece on a team with designs on immediate contention. If and when he does land elsewhere, he’ll be controllable through the 2021 season via arbitration.