Before signing a minor league deal with the Giants, Yolmer Sanchez turned down some MLB contract offers from other teams, the second baseman told Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle. His decision was partly for financial reasons — the other offers promised him guaranteed money but less than the $2.5MM Sanchez will make if he cracks the Giants’ roster — and partly for opportunity-based reasons, as other clubs wanted to use Sanchez in a utility role. As Schulman writes, Sanchez preferred to “bet on himself…for a chance to be an everyday second baseman” in San Francisco.
It remains to be seen if Sanchez can become a regular amidst the Giants’ youth movement, or against a veteran like second base candidate Wilmer Flores, who did sign a guaranteed Major League deal with the team. Aside from Flores, the Giants also have youngster Mauricio Dubon and utilityman Donovan Solano in the mix at the keystone, not to mention Kean Wong, Zach Green, and longtime Giants staple Pablo Sandoval in camp battling for infield jobs.
More from the NL West…
- Robbie Ray has been a fixture in trade rumors for the better part of a year, and the Diamondbacks southpaw told MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert that “I thought I was as good as gone” heading into last summer’s trade deadline. “We were in it, but we were far enough behind where it looked like it was a real possibility that I was going to go somewhere. I was hearing it every single day,” Ray said. As it happened, the D’Backs instead unloaded an even bigger arm (and a bigger contract) by dealing Zack Greinke to the Astros, though Ray still felt he was a trade candidate during “the first part of the offseason…and then we made the moves that we made.” Acquiring Madison Bumgarner, Starling Marte, Kole Calhoun has now made the D’Backs into a popular choice to reach the postseason, leaving Ray now comfortable that he will remain in Arizona as long as the club is in contention. Ray is eligible for free agency after the 2020 season.
- Speaking of Bumgarner, the southpaw’s secret identity of rodeo team-roper “Mason Saunders” was publicly revealed today by Andrew Baggarly and Zach Buchanan of the Athletic (subscription required). Bumgarner’s participation in rodeo events has been something of an open secret for some time, though he has used the fake name to avoid extra publicity. Saun…er, Bumgarner competed in two events as recently as December, prior to signing his five-year, $85MM contract with the Diamondbacks. It isn’t known whether that agreement allows the left-hander to continue roping in organized events, as GM Mike Hazen said he was “not going to get into discussing specific contract language.”
- Injuries have limited Franchy Cordero to only 49 Major League games over the last two seasons, leaving the Padres uncertain but still hopeful about his vast potential, Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune writes. Teammates remain impressed by Cordero, with no less than Fernando Tatis Jr. saying “if [Cordero] has a chance, he’s going to outplay me. He has more tools than me. He has way more power than me, and the speed is about the same level….If he stays healthy, he can be one of the best players in the game, simple as that.” Some glimpses of Cordero’s hitting ability have been exhibited over his 273 career plate appearances, as Cordero has ten homers and a .240/.306/.431 slash line as a big leaguer, and his ability to play all three outfield positions could be an advantage as he fights to win at least a bench job on San Diego’s roster.