The Padres and representatives for free agent catcher Gary Sánchez are engaged in discussions about a potential new contract, reports Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune. There’s no indication a deal is imminent, although Acee suggests a potential contract could land in the $6-8MM range on an annual basis.
Dennis Lin of the Athletic wrote in October that the Padres were interested in retaining Sánchez, so it’s unsurprising they’re still in contact. The veteran catcher had a rebound year at Petco Park, blasting 19 homers in just 72 games. While he only hit .218 with a .292 on-base percentage, that kind of power production from behind the plate is an excellent result for a player whom San Diego had claimed on waivers at the end of May.
The season ended on a down note, as an errant pitch fractured Sánchez’s wrist at the start of September. That isn’t expected to have any impact on his availability for upcoming Spring Training. In a market very light on catching options, Sánchez will fare quite a bit better than he had a year ago. The two-time All-Star settled for a minor league deal with the Giants last winter on the heels of a .205/.282/.377 showing with the Twins.
San Diego needs to add a second catcher in some capacity. The Padres have made clear they’re going to turn the primary job to 24-year-old Luis Campusano, who’s coming off a .319/.356/.491 showing through 49 games. Campusano and Brett Sullivan are the only catchers on the 40-man roster. In addition to Sánchez’s free agency, the club non-tendered Opening Day starter Austin Nola after a rough 2023 campaign.