The Giants announced this evening that they’ve placed right-hander Aaron Sanchez on unconditional release waivers. That was the expected outcome after the club designated him for assignment last weekend.
San Francisco added Sanchez on a one-year, $4MM guarantee over the offseason. It was a low-risk shot on a reclamation candidate. Sanchez showed plenty of promise early in his career with the Blue Jays but he’d been beset by injuries over the past few years and missed all of last season recovering from September 2019 shoulder surgery.
While the addition didn’t pan out as hoped, it wasn’t a complete bust. Sanchez worked to a 3.06 ERA over 35 1/3 innings across nine appearances (seven starts). His 16.7% strikeout rate and 9.6% walk percentage weren’t especially impressive, but he induced grounders at a strong 52.3% clip. That’s not quite the elite groundball numbers Sanchez boasted at his peak, but it was his best season in that regard since 2016.
Unfortunately, Sanchez’s troubles staying healthy reappeared in early May. The 29-year-old landed on the injured list with right biceps tightness. Between that and blister issues that cropped up on his minor league rehab assignment, Sanchez missed nearly three months. He returned to make two appearances before being let go.
Sanchez is entitled to the entirety of his $4MM salary, about $1.1MM of which remains to be paid out. Any team that claims Sanchez off waivers would assume the remainder of that salary, but it seems more likely he’ll pass through unclaimed and reach free agency. At that point, rival clubs could sign Sanchez for the prorated portion of the league minimum salary, with the rest of the tab falling on the Giants.