The Red Sox announced that infielder Yolmer Sanchez has been signed to a minor league deal. The former Gold Glover will receive an invitation to Boston’s big league Spring Training camp.
Sanchez spent 2021 with the Braves’ Triple-A affiliate, hitting .216/.309/.352 over 355 plate appearances. Atlanta signed Sanchez as a depth option in April of last year, but with Ozzie Albies, Austin Riley, and Dansby Swanson staying healthy and delivering strong production for the World Series champions, Sanchez never got a call to the Show. It marked the first time since 2013 that Sanchez hadn’t seen action in a Major League season.
While the Red Sox are the fifth different organization Sanchez has joined in his pro career, the 29-year-old has suited up only with the White Sox at the MLB level. Sanchez played with Chicago from 2013-20, seeing regular work as a starting second baseman and third baseman during the team’s rebuilding years and acting as a useful utility infield piece in general. Always a solid defender, Sanchez’s work was recognized when he won the AL Gold Glove as a second baseman in 2019.
However, the White Sox still opted to non-tender Sanchez in the wake of that Gold Glove-winning season, as Sanchez was projected to earn a $6MM arbitration salary in 2020. Sanchez’s defense didn’t make up for his lack of offense, as he has hit only .245/.300/.360 in 2459 career PA. The Giants signed Sanchez to a minor league deal heading into the 2020 season but released him, resulting in Sanchez returning to the White Sox for 11 games that year and making an appearance on the team’s postseason roster (perhaps a nice full-circle moment considering Sanchez’s contributions during the team’s lean years).
After landing with the Orioles and Braves on minors deals, Sanchez will now try to gain a foothold in Boston. Sanchez’s versatility will only go far considering that he’ll be competing with several other multi-position infield types (i.e. Christian Arroyo, Jonathan Arauz, and fellow minor league signing Rob Refsnyder) in the battle to be Boston’s chief utility infielder. As well, Enrique Hernandez is capable of playing pretty much anywhere around the diamond, and the Red Sox could move Hernandez back into that super-utility role if they obtained another starting option at second base.