In a search for offensive help at the catcher’s position, the San Diego Padres claimed Gary Sanchez on Monday.
The Padres are getting little production from Austin Nola, and this could signify a significant change on the roster. Nola is hitting .131 this season with an OPS of .434 in 99 at-bats. The right-handed hitter is simply not producing at all—a change needed to be made.
Gary Sanchez is not a savior by any means, but he could boost the team offensively. The two-time All-Star owns a career .777 OPS in nine major league seasons and over 2,300 at-bats. The right-handed hitter provides some power but owns a .225 career average.
In 2017, in 122 games, Sanchez recorded a massive offensive season where he put up a .278/.345/.531 batting line with a .876 OPS for the Yankees. His numbers have sharply declined since then. The Padres can only hope to get a fraction of that value from Sanchez.
Sanchez signed with the Giants this spring but was released by San Francisco and picked up by the Mets in early May. He only recorded six at-bats with the Mets at the major league level and was DFA’d last week by New York.
The Padres will be responsible for $1.1 million left on Sanchez’s contract as they put in a waiver claim. The Mets dodged a bullet, as the catcher would have likely passed waivers. The Padres did not have the luxury to gamble as they claimed Sanchez and agreed to pay his 2023 salary. The need for a catcher was too great for San Diego.
The Padres are claiming Gary Sánchez off waivers, looking to find some production behind the plate. He’s expected to join the team in Miami.
— AJ Cassavell (@AJCassavell) May 29, 2023
The two-time All-Star will join the team in Miami and will likely start immediately for the team.
No corresponding move has been announced yet, but the likely move is sending Brett Sullivan back to Triple-A El Paso. Sullivan is hitting .170 for the Padres in 47 at-bats this season. The left-handed hitter has not been productive, recording a .482 OPS.
There are whispers of Austin Nola being DFA’d, but that seems unlikely at this point. The history he has with the staff has to be worth something for the Padres. This is a wake-up call to the team, as they sit five games under the .500 mark. Improvement is needed, and changes will be made.
Gary Sanchez may be the answer for the Padres at catcher, but it just isn’t likely.
The position of catcher is one of great weakness around MLB, and the Padres are feeling that pain right now.
James was born and raised in America’s Finest City. He is a passionate baseball fan with even more passion towards his hometown Padres. Editor-In-Chief of EastVillageTimes.com. Always striving to bring you the highest quality in San Diego Sports News. Original content, with original ideas, that’s our motto. Enjoy.