The Nationals signed infielder Adrian Sanchez and right-hander Victor Arano to minor league deals, with Sanchez’s deal inked earlier this month. Both moves were reported on the team’s official transactions feed at MLB.com.
2022 will mark Sanchez’s 15th season in the Nationals organization, as he joined the team as an international signing when he was just 16 years old. This long tenure has included big league action in four of the last five seasons, including 16 games with D.C. this past year. Sanchez has hit .262/.287/.328 over 204 career plate appearances as a big leaguer, and .267/.310/.363 over 4304 PA in the minors.
In re-signing the 31-year-old Sanchez, the Nationals return a familiar face to their depth chart, primarily in the infield. While Sanchez has played a smattering of games as a corner outfielder, the vast majority of his experience has come at second base, third base, and shortstop. He’ll get the opportunity to win a job during Spring Training, but probably unless an injury arises, Sanchez will spend the bulk of next season waiting in the wings at Triple-A Rochester.
Arano is a newcomer to Washington but not to the NL East, as the righty’s MLB resume consists of 74 2/3 innings out of the Phillies bullpen from 2017-19. Rotator cuff inflammation hampered Arano in 2018 and then an elbow surgery sidelined him for much of 2019, as he hasn’t appeared in a big league game since April 18, 2019. Arano was claimed off waivers by the Braves last offseason and he posted a 2.50 ERA over 36 innings for Atlanta’s Triple-A affiliate but didn’t get another call to the Show. The Braves outrighted Arano off their 40-man in June.
Arano doesn’t turn 27 until February, and there could be some hidden-gem potential for the Nationals if Arano is healthy. When the right-hander was able to pitch, he was quite effective for the Phillies, posting a 2.65 ERA/3.38 SIERA over his 74 2/3 frames, with above-average strikeout (26.3%) and walk (7.6%) rates. At the cost just an invitation to Spring Training, there’s no risk for the Nats to see if Arano is again capable delivering such numbers.