Mauricio Dubon has competition.
The Giants agreed to a minor league deal with veteran second baseman Yolmer Sanchez, The Athletic first reported Tuesday.
The 27-year-old is coming off a down offensive season but a Gold Glove-winning campaign. The six-year White Sox infielder reportedly had major league offers, but chose San Francisco because of the chance to compete for an everyday role at second, where Dubon finished the season last year. While Sanchez also plays third, the Giants have Evan Longoria entrenched there, though the switch-hitting Sanchez can spell him against righties. Dubon, a righty, has the ability to move around the field, giving Brandon Crawford breaks at short and perhaps Mike Yastrzemski in center field.
Sanchez, from Venezuela, slashed .252/.318/.321 in 555 plate appearances last season, with just a pair of home runs. He is not the power bat the Giants are looking for (though he hit 12 longballs two seasons ago), but is competent competition for Dubon, at worst a worthy rival in camp.
In an interview with KNBR’s Larry Krueger last week, Farhan Zaidi indicated moves like this would be coming.
“There’s some pretty good players out there that may wind up taking non-rostered deals,” the president of baseball operations said. “What’s nice about that is it creates a true sense of competition. We had Cameron Maybin and Gerardo Parra and [Yangervis] Solarte in camp on minor league deals. Stephen Vogt also in camp on a minor league deal. It at least makes the younger guys feel like, hey, I still have an opportunity to make this team. As opposed to, if you bring in a veteran or two on big-league deals, and then they kind of feel like, well, I know I’m getting optioned.”