Gary Sanchez is a two-time All-Star with all-world energy. Where will he signal?

It wasn’t all that way back that Gary Sanchez sparked extra debate than nearly every other participant in Major League Baseball.

Granted, anybody that performs usually for the New York Yankees goes to expertise better scrutiny than those that play for the 29 different groups. But Sanchez elicited a really particular form of discourse. The trajectory of his profession mixed along with his maddeningly inconsistent and imbalanced star-level talent set made him ripe for Yankees followers and impartial followers alike to repeatedly marvel and argue over simply how good he was. 

His proponents insisted he was top-of-the-line catchers in baseball, defensive limitations be damned. His detractors couldn’t look previous his clunky fame behind the dish and didn’t assume his sky-scraping dingers have been price all of the strikeouts and ugly plate appearances, not to mention the shaky protection. 

These debates died down over the previous three seasons as Sanchez has undeniably didn’t recapture his All-Star peak. His time within the Bronx ran out, and people hoping {that a} change of surroundings in Minnesota would assist him re-discover his former self have been certainly disillusioned by his 2022 marketing campaign during which his OBP dipped under .300 and he hit simply 16 homers regardless of getting the second-most plate appearances he’d ever gotten in a full season.

Even after a comparatively ugly previous few years, it’s nonetheless shocking to see Sanchez accessible as one of many prime remaining free-agent bats. We’re nonetheless speaking a couple of two-time All-Star catcher with all-world energy who did begin to present some indicators of defensive progress in Minnesota, enhancing his framing metrics markedly from 2021 whereas additionally throwing out an above-average fee of base stealers. 

The uncooked stats could have underwhelmed relative to his 2016-2019 prime, however he nonetheless ranked within the 92nd percentile in each barrel fee and hard-hit fee in 2022, underperforming his xwOBA by greater than 30 factors, which was one of many largest gaps in baseball

With spring coaching simply across the nook, the clock is ticking. When you contemplate all of the duties involving connecting with a brand new pitching workers, catcher is the final place you’d wish to have lacking any period of time within the lead-up to Opening Day. That could in the end be the case no matter when he indicators, as Sanchez is reportedly dedicated to play for Team Dominican Republic within the World Baseball Classic, which might take him away from spring coaching in the midst of March. Still, there needs to be some degree of urgency for the 30-year-old to discover a new group. 

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If Sanchez is prepared to take a minor-league deal, there’s certainly a bunch of groups that may be prepared to convey him in. But if we assume he’d prefer to go someplace with a assured big-league deal providing important taking part in time, it is best to look at the 30 catcher depth charts throughout MLB. 


Blue Jays
White Sox 

Right off the bat, we will in all probability cross off about half the league as having too safe of a catching scenario to usher in Sanchez. This contains the groups with the most effective catchers in baseball, groups with rising stars on the place, in addition to groups who’ve sufficient veteran depth behind the plate that it could be laborious to think about including Sanchez to the combination at this stage. 



This is a bunch of groups which may not have superstars at catcher, however they’ve prospects or younger gamers on the place whose taking part in time in 2023 would clearly take precedence over a veteran like Sanchez. Oakland (Shea Langeliers), Washington (Keibert Ruiz) and Arizona (Gabriel Moreno) every acquired high-profile backstops in high-profile trades over the previous couple of years and have so much invested of their respective growth. 

Cleveland (Bo Naylor), Pittsburgh (Henry Davis, Endy Rodriguez) and the Angels (Logan O’Hoppe) might need veterans slated to begin 2023 behind the dish, however every have promising prospects within the upper-minors that may very well be able to take over in some unspecified time in the future this season and thus bringing in Sanchez doesn’t make any sense. 


None of the next groups are good matches, however you may at the very least make an argument for every of them as affordable touchdown spots for Sanchez. Don’t consider me? I’ll do my greatest!

Jonah Heim and Mitch Garver are completely strong, however the Rangers’ present projected DH is Brad Miller. Even if he wouldn’t catch all that a lot, a rejuvenated Sanchez might completely add some thump to a lineup that will get actual skinny actual shortly after the highest 4. If Texas needs to make an actual playoff push, it may want so much to go proper. Betting on a Sanchez bounce-back won’t be the worst concept. 

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Austin Nola has been dependable on protection however underwhelming on offense since arriving from Seattle through commerce, and Luis Campusano has but to blossom into any type of impression hitter. The Pads have already introduced in veteran Pedro Severino, so including Sanchez too appears unlikely. File this below the idea that AJ Preller would all the time love so as to add one other well-known baseball participant, particularly in the event that they have been as soon as a prime prospect.

Red Sox
Speaking of the Padres, former Friar Jorge Alfaro’s current minor-league signing with Boston made their potential match for Sanchez a lot much less apparent, however I’m not precisely satisfied Alfaro backing up Reese McGuire is the most effective the Red Sox can do at that place if they’ve actual aspirations of returning to the postseason. Boston of all groups is a lot acquainted with Sanchez’s upside having confronted him for thus lengthy with New York, however that will additionally make all of them the extra prone to keep away from him for his flaws. 

I commend Miami for attempting to strengthen its offense with two of the game’s pre-eminent contact professionals in Jean Segura and Luis Arraez, however this lineup nonetheless might use one other man that may hit the ball over the fence and Sanchez is definitely that. It’s unclear simply how a lot the group believes in Nick Fortes as the longer term fish behind the dish however for now, Sanchez would nonetheless characterize an offensive improve over each him and the incumbent Jacob Stallings.

I really like Eric Haase bit, so possibly this may be extra of a backup scenario for Sanchez, however he might nonetheless theoretically add some impression to a lineup that wants it nearly as desperately as any in the whole league, if even in a part-time position. Plus, they’re transferring the fences in! Easy promoting level!

It’s doable the group is assured that prospect Yainer Diaz can step into the first backup position and in the end the beginning job sooner relatively than later, however we all know Houston was inquisitive about upgrading on Martin Maldonado at this place with its reported curiosity in Willson Contreras in free company. Sanchez isn’t fairly the improve that Contreras can be, however he is accessible at a fraction of the price. Granted, we additionally know the way a lot the Astros worth Maldonado’s defensive excellence paired with their proficient pitching workers, so they might simply be content material punting offense on the place for an additional yr contemplating how good the remainder of the lineup is. Still, the concept of Sanchez touchdown with one among New York’s largest rivals is simply too juicy to not point out. 

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Despite Joey Bart’s growth progressing at a glacial tempo, it sounds as if San Francisco has no set plan on the catching place which might in principle create an apparent opening for Sanchez as an interesting risk. The signing of veteran Roberto Pérez suggests the Giants could also be prioritizing protection for his or her catching depth, which makes this match a bit extra tenuous. But that is clearly an infinite weak spot on a roster that has improved at a number of different positions this winter. Sanchez is a danger, as we all know, however the upside is right here for him to make a distinction for a group that can want all the assistance it might get to compete within the NL West.


If there was anyplace that would re-awaken Sanchez’s prodigious energy, it’s clearly Coors Field. Beyond the 500-foot moonshots we will dream of Sanchez launching via the skinny Denver air, the Rockies are additionally the group at the moment projected to have the least manufacturing from the catching place in all of MLB. Their depth chart is led by Elias Díaz, a serviceable veteran who simply posted a .648 OPS, adopted by Brian Serven, who hit .203 in 2022 as a 27-year-old rookie. Top prospect Drew Romo would be the catcher of the longer term, however he’s 21 years outdated and struggled offensively final yr in high-A ball — he’s not precisely knocking on the door.

If the Rockies have any hope of surprising the world in 2022, they might as nicely be taking some upside swings in a participant like Sanchez at a place that’s at the moment a large weak point. From Sanchez’s perspective, Colorado may very well be the proper place to rediscover his offensive potential and proceed to keep up his defensive enhancements from 2022. Come on, Rockies — give the folks what they need!

Jordan Shusterman is half of @CespedesBBQ and a baseball author for FOX Sports. He has coated baseball for his complete grownup life, most notably for, DAZN and The Ringer. He’s a Mariners fan dwelling within the Eastern Time Zone, which implies he loves 10 p.m. first pitch. You can observe him on Twitter @j_shusterman_.

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