The Giants have designated Aaron Sanchez for assignment, per Susan Slusser of The San Francisco Chronicle. Additionally, John Brebbia was recalled, Kevin Gausman was reinstated from the paternity list and Thairo Estrada was optioned to Triple-A.
Signed to a one-year deal in the offseason, Sanchez’s season got off to a nice enough start. After six starts, he had an ERA of 3.18. But he struggled to pitch deep into games, never going longer than five innings. On May 8th, he was placed on the IL with biceps tightness and then struggled to return because of blister issues during his rehab, something that has plagued him over the course of his career. He was eventually reinstated from the IL July 29th and has made three appearances since then, but evidently not showing enough promise to hold onto a roster spot. Overall, he’s thrown 35 1/3 innings this season with an ERA of 3.06, with his typical mix of low strikeouts but lots of ground balls.
Sanchez is playing on a $4MM salary, of which about $1.2MM remains to be paid out. If some pitching-needy team were to grab him off waivers, they could do so with a modest increase to the payroll and luxury tax ledger. Though it’s also possible that teams will just wait for him to clear waivers, at which point they could pay him the prorated league minimum with the Giants on the hook for the rest of that money. The contract signed between Sanchez and the Giants also came with incentives based on games started, beginning once he reached his 16th of the season. Since he’s currently sitting at seven starts on the year, it seems unlikely any of those incentives will be reached.
Brebbia pitched very well for the Cardinals from 2017 to 2019, throwing 175 innings with an ERA of 3.14, a strikeout rate of 27.4% and walk rate of 7.5%. Unfortunately, Tommy John surgery wiped out his 2020 season, leading to the Cardinals non-tendering him, before he signed with the Giants. In 15 innings thus far for San Fran, he has a 6.60 ERA, though advanced metrics are much more bullish.