12:30 pm: Sanchez will make $1.5MM if selected to the Mets’ roster with $1.2MM of incentives also available, reports Jon Heyman of the New York Post.
Sanchez, 30, was unable to find a big league opportunity this past winter despite being the starting catcher for the Twins last season, and for the Yankees in the five seasons prior to that. Long considered a bat-first catcher who struggles defensively behind the plate, Sanchez has seen that reputation change on both sides of the ball in recent years. His defense received improved marks during his time with the Twins in 2022, though his offense has taken a downturn in recent years. Since the start of the 2020 season, Sanchez has slashed just .195/.287/.394 with a 29.5% strikeout rate. Though that production has translated to a 90 wRC+ that’s perfectly acceptable for a catcher, it’s still a far cry from his career mark of 109 or the 123 wRC+ he posted from the beginning of his career through the end of the 2019 campaign.
Sanchez previously signed with the Giants on a minor league deal earlier this season, but exercised a May 1 opt-out to return to the free agent market after not getting added to the active roster. Sanchez reportedly received interest from the Angels regarding his services after opting out, but will ultimately join the Mets, with whom he figures to act as quality catching depth behind top prospect Francisco Alvarez and backup Tomas Nido. The depth Sanchez can provide is of particular importance to a Mets club that figures to be without offseason signing Omar Narvaez for at least another month following his early season calf strain.
Sherman notes that, while the club’s initial plan is to send Sanchez to Triple-A Syracuse, the club hopes to help him rediscover the offensive prowess that made him a quality regular behind the plate over the past several years after Sanchez slashed just .164/.319/.182 in 69 plate appearances with the Giants at the Triple-A level.
A renaissance from Sanchez would be a major boon to a Mets club with World Series aspirations but a 17-18 record in the early going this season, particularly given the club’s early season struggles to find production behind the plate. Mets catchers have combined for a wRC+ of just 29 so far this season, the worst figure in the majors to this point. Long considered among the top prospects in all of baseball, Alvarez could certainly help to boost the club’s production behind the plate in theory, but his .220/.264/.320 slash line in 53 big league plate appearances this season suggests the 21-year-old may not be ready for a starting role in the majors just yet.