5:35pm: The Red Sox formally announced all three moves. Sanchez has been designated for assignment, while both Hernandez and Refsnyder have been reinstated from the injured list.
4:30pm: The Red Sox have designated infielder Yolmer Sanchez for assignment, reports Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe (Twitter link). The team has yet to formally announce the move, but it’ll come as part of series of transactions that also includes the activation of utilitymen Enrique Hernandez and Rob Refsnyder, per Abraham.
Sanchez, 30, has been with the Red Sox since being selected to the big league roster on July 22. A former Gold Glove winner and regular with the White Sox, he’s seen his offensive output crater in recent years, though never quite to the extent it has so far in Boston. It’s a tiny sample, just 14 games, but Sanchez is just 4-for-37 with seven walks (11.4%), 13 strikeouts (29.5%) and zero extra-base hits through 44 trips to the plate — resulting in a dismal .108/.214/.108 batting line on the year.
Sanchez’s peak years with the bat came in 2017-18 in Chicago, when he posted a combined .253/.312/.390 batting line while playing second base on a near-everyday basis. Granted, even that career-best production was about nine percent worse than league-average, by measure of wRC+, but for a player with Sanchez’s speed and defensive skills, that was plenty to make him a solid regular at second base. His line dipped to .252/.318/.321 in 2019, but Sanchez also won a Gold Glove that year, so the Sox likely didn’t mind the tepid output at the plate.
In the time since winning that Gold Glove, though, Sanchez has barely seen the Majors. He logged just 21 plate appearances with the ChiSox during the shortened 2020 season and spent the 2021 season with the Braves’ Triple-A affiliate where he posted a grisly .216/.309/.352 line in 355 plate appearances. Things were going much better for Sanchez with Boston’s Triple-A club, for whom he’d turned in a .247/.377/.413 line in 305 trips to the plate.
Now that the trade deadline has passed, the only outcome for players who are designated for assignment is to be placed on outright waivers or release waivers. Sanchez has enough service time to reject an outright assignment to the minors if he goes unclaimed.