The Giants have three catchers on their 26-man roster, and are now bringing a two-time All-Star into the organization.
San Francisco reportedly signed Gary Sánchez, 30, to a minor league contract, according to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal. The deal, per Rosenthal, includes a clause that allows the catcher to opt out if he isn’t promoted to the big-league club by May 1.
Joey Bart, Roberto Pérez and Blake Sabol broke camp with the Giants. Pérez, a two-time Gold Glover, got the Opening Day start, while Bart told KNBR that he’ll be ready to contribute whenever called upon.
Sánchez was an All-Star in 2017 and 2019 with the Yankees, but has since fallen off. In the past three seasons combined, he’s hitting .195 with a .681 OPS despite being known for his power bat, not glove.
The Giants’ catching situation appears increasingly precarious. SF went with Pérez on Thursday against the Yankees because they value his “calming presence,” manager Gabe Kapler said, but they expect to play all three in the first couple weeks — depending on their performance. Sabol, a converted outfielder, has never caught at the Major League level. Bart, the former second overall pick, ranked fifth in strikeout rate among players with at least 150 plate appearances last season and entered spring training without a guaranteed roster spot.
Austin Wynns, the other catcher who was competing for a role in camp, is currently on the Triple-A roster.
Sánchez hit a career-high 34 home runs in 2019 — his last plus season from the plate. The right-handed hitter has even platoon splits in his career, but last year struggled with a matchup advantage (.554 OPS vs. left-handed pitching).