The Brewers finalized their restructured contract with Gary Sánchez yesterday. While he’d initially agreed to a $7MM guarantee, an issue with his physical led the sides to rework the deal to lock in only $3MM. Sánchez could still get to $7MM for the upcoming season, but that is conditional on his health.
The Associated Press reports the specifics. Sánchez will make a $3MM salary and has a buyout on a 2025 mutual option. The buyout figure could rise as high as $4MM depending on how much time Sánchez spends on the MLB roster or injured list for a fracture or ligament tear in any area of the body other than his right wrist.
He’d receive the full $4MM buyout if he reaches 150 days on the active roster or IL for a notable non-wrist injury. That dips to $3MM for 120-149 days, $2MM for 90-119, and $1MM for 60-89 days. There’d be no buyout for 59 days or fewer. The deal also contains a $1MM assignment bonus in the event of a trade.
Sánchez broke his right wrist when he was hit by a pitch while playing for the Padres last September. While that was the initially reported cause of the contract restructure, Sánchez told reporters this evening that he recovered fully from that incident (link via Todd Rosiak of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel). Via translator, the catcher indicated he injured his hand while working out over the offseason, which he says was the cause of the team’s concern.
In any case, ironing out the issue positions Sánchez to serve as a backup catcher/DH for the Brew Crew. He joins first baseman Rhys Hoskins and trade pickups Jake Bauers and Joey Ortiz as offseason additions to a reworked offense. Jack Magruder of MLB.com writes that Ortiz, acquired from the Orioles in the Corbin Burnes deal, could see action at both second and third base.
Ortiz has played mostly shortstop in the minors but doesn’t have a path to regular playing time there in 2024, barring a surprising late Willy Adames trade. Brice Turang is the frontrunner for reps at the keystone, although he’s coming off a well below-average .218/.285/.300 batting line as a rookie. Turang is a former top prospect who played strong defense, so it’s likely the Brewers will give him another run. That’d leave Ortiz vying with Andruw Monasterio and perhaps Owen Miller at third base.
In other Brewers news, Milwaukee added a former big leaguer in a non-playing capacity. Justin Bour announced (on X) that he’s taking on a role in the player development department. Bour hit .253/.337/.457 in parts of six MLB seasons between 2014-19. He finished fifth in NL Rookie of the Year balloting when he hit 23 homers for the Marlins in 2015. Bour played in a few foreign leagues before announcing his retirement as a player last February.