Five Likely Teams to Sign Sanchez

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The offseason has seen plenty of movement and a lot of star players sign lucrative deals. One of the impactful players that is still available in free agency is Gary Sanchez. He played the 2022 season on the Minnesota Twins, but wasn’t re-signed and is one of the few impactful players left on the market.

Granted, Sanchez is seen as damaged goods, making him an undesirable addition. His fielding has always been a liability and his power at the plate has also declined. His slash line last season was an underwhelming .205/.282/.377 and his OPS+ has been below 100 in each of the past three seasons. Moreover, at 30 years old, Sanchez has reached his ceiling and a lot of front offices view him as a declining player.

That being said, Sanchez still has power in his bat and could provide a spark to a lineup that needs it. He’s hit 20 home runs or more in four of the last seven seasons and his swing is an attribute that ages well. He will be a primary designated hitter but can split catching duties and be a valuable player for a contending team to sign.

Colorado Rockies

The Colorado Rockies make all the sense as the team to sign Sanchez. He can revive his career at Coors Field with the high altitude and hitter-friendly dimensions. His power has declined but he can become a perennial 20-homerun hitter with a Slugging Percentage over .500 with the Rockies. Additionally, he can become an integral part of the lineup and help turn around a batting order that averaged only 4.31 runs per game last year.

The Rockies aren’t expected to contend in the National League West Division, but they aren’t rebuilding either. They have a veteran-heavy roster with multiple hitters 30 years old or older. The Rockies are looking to win games and compete. Adding Sanchez can allow them to do just that. He can split starts behind the plate with Elias Diaz while sliding into the heart of the lineup as a power bat. Signing Sanchez won’t make this team a front-runner in the division. However, it will make them more competitive and give them an outside chance of sneaking into the postseason.

Boston Red Sox

If Sanchez would sign with the Boston Red Sox, it would create a lot of interesting headlines, to say the least. For starters, he can circle the calendar for the matchups against the New York Yankees, the bitter rivals. The Yankees drafted and developed Sanchez but traded him to the Twins after years of frustration, making rematch games revenge games for the players and the team. Additionally, the right-handed hitter would play half his games in Fenway Park, where he can pull the ball to the Green Monster.

Otherwise, the Red Sox would likely avoid signing Sanchez. They need a catcher but it doesn’t appear like Sanchez is the direction they’d want to head in. The Red Sox would prefer a fielding catcher who is both younger and a cheaper option. While a former Yankee could be a good way to get back at the divisional rival, it doesn’t look like the ideal path to build a contending team.

Tampa Bay Rays

For the right price, the Tampa Bay Rays can acquire Sanchez as a value addition. The Rays are a forward-thinking organization and add players who play specific roles, but are integral to the team’s success. The small-market organization could sign Sanchez as a backup catcher to fuel one of the game’s best lineups.

The Rays are looking to rebound after a disappointment in 2022, going 86 and 76. Sanchez would be a reliable catcher but also add a spark to a lineup that has more than enough power. With Randy Arozarena, Wander Franco, and Yandy Diaz already at the top of the batting order, Sanchez would be the power hitter at the end of the lineup to drive them in. The signing would not only be a money ball type but allow the Rays to compete with the rest of their division and possibly give the Yankees nightmares (especially, if they discover how to optimize the veteran catcher).

Miami Marlins

The Miami Marlins are a rebuilding team that is looking to compete with a strong farm system without signing free-agent veterans. That said, the Marlins could use another catcher. If they sign Sanchez, he can split games behind the plate with Jacob Stallings, who was overworked last year–playing in 114 games. Stallings slashed a disappointing .223/.292/.292 and adding Sanchez will give the lineup much-needed power.

Chicago Cubs

The Chicago Cubs signing Sanchez would be quite the downgrade from Willson Contreras, to put it lightly. Contreras was a three-time All-Star and signed with the rival St. Louis Cardinals this offseason. Replacing him will be a difficult task for the Cubs but one that has to be done.

Sanchez would be a strong placeholder option. He isn’t a long-term solution for the Cubs, who are a rebuilding team. However, he can provide stability to the roster. Sanchez also can provide some energy to the lineup and possibly turn the Cubs into a contender in the division.

Other Notes on Sanchez

Sanchez isn’t the player that can take a team over the top. Furthermore, a lot of his liabilities are viewed as red flags and front offices might avoid him altogether. He shows flashes every season with a few big swings and strong plate appearances, but similarly shows his glaring weaknesses. The expectation is for Sanchez to sign a two-year deal or a short-term contract to bet on himself. A big year from him can catapult a team to the playoffs. Additionally, it can result in a big payday for the 30-year-old catcher.

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Mike Fink

Mike Fink

Mike Fink joined Sport Relay in December 2022 and covers the New York Yankees. In addition to covering the Yankees, Fink has also covered the New York Islanders since 2020 for The Hockey Writers and has been writing about sports at large. Mike also likes to travel but has found Baltimore and Chicago are the only two cities that come close to New York City.

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