The Giants and second baseman Yolmer Sanchez are in agreement on a minor league contract, tweets Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. The MVP Sports client will be in Major League camp as a non-roster invitee and will vie for everyday at-bats at second base.
Still just 27 years old, Sanchez was cut loose by the White Sox in late November despite taking home Gold Glove honors for his work at second base in 2019. Sanchez racked up 11 Defensive Runs Saved and a 4.9 Ultimate Zone Rating, although Statcast’s Outs Above Average was a bit more tepid in giving him a +2 mark.
Defensive excellence notwithstanding, Sanchez has never shown that he can hit much at the big league level. A 2017 season in which he slashed .267/.319/.413 stands out as his best year with the bat, and in the two seasons since that time, he’s combined for a dreary .246/.311/.349 output in more than 1200 trips to the dish. In all, Sanchez is a career .244/.299/.357 hitter in 2438 plate appearances. If he’s able to make the club, he’d be controllable through the 2021 season via arbitration.
With the Giants, he’ll push up-and-coming Mauricio Dubon for the everyday nod at second base. Dubon, a rather well-regarded shortstop prospect acquired in July’s Drew Pomeranz deal, batted .274/.306/.434 in his big league debut this past season — a total of 111 plate appearances. He’s a career .299/.339/.474 hitter in parts of three Triple-A campaigns, though, and gives the Giants a longer-term option with more all-around upside at second base than does Sanchez.
Rosenthal indicates that Sanchez had Major League offers this winter but opted for a minor league pact in San Francisco to compete for a regular role. That, presumably, says more about the quality of said big league offers as it does about Sanchez’s chances of winning the job with the Giants. Sanchez was projected by MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz to earn $6.2MM in arbitration prior to being placed on waivers, and his rejection of MLB offers serves as an indicator that none were close to that range. More likely is that other clubs had eyes on using him in a utility capacity, and he’ll instead hope to parlay this nonguaranteed deal into a more prominent role.