The Pirates are among the many groups displaying curiosity in Gary Sánchez, reviews Jon Heyman of the New York Put up. The 2-time All-Star is the most effective unsigned participant in an in any other case weak free agent catching class.
Sánchez is not the franchise catcher he as soon as appeared he’d be within the Bronx. He has been a stable common for almost all of his profession, although, and he’s coming off an efficient season for the Padres. San Diego nabbed Sánchez off waivers from the Mets on the finish of Could. He emerged as their high choice behind the plate with first rate work on each side of the ball.
His offensive profile is constructed round plus energy. Sánchez popped 19 dwelling runs in 260 plate appearances a yr in the past. Have been it not for a season-ending wrist fracture sustained when he was hit by a pitch in early September, he’d have gotten to the 20-homer mark for the fifth time in his profession. That compensates for low batting averages and middling on-base marks. Sánchez completed his time as a Padre with a .218/.292/.500 line.
A lot maligned for his receiving expertise with the Yankees, he has improved his defensive marks over the previous two years. Statcast has rated him as a barely above-average pitch framer in every of the final couple seasons. His blocking metrics are marginally beneath par however nowhere close to as dangerous as they had been throughout his first 4 campaigns. He nonetheless has a plus arm, rating within the high 10 in common pop time final yr.
The Padres remained in touch with Sánchez early within the offseason. It appears his asking value was past their consolation zone, although, and so they pivoted to amass Kyle Higashioka within the Juan Soto blockbuster. With Higashioka backing up Luis Campusano, it appears to be like as if Sánchez will head elsewhere.
Pittsburgh wouldn’t have been a candidate so as to add a catcher a pair months in the past. Second-year backstop Endy Rodríguez suffered a fluke elbow harm whereas hitting in winter ball and underwent UCL surgical procedure that ends his 2024 marketing campaign earlier than it started. That leaves the Bucs to resolve whether or not to rely on former first total decide Henry Davis as their #1 choice behind the plate.
Davis hasn’t began an MLB recreation at catcher. He made 49 begins in proper area and 11 as a delegated hitter in deference to Rodríguez. Prospect evaluators have questioned his skill to stay as a catcher going again to his school days at Louisville. GM Ben Cherington and skipper Derek Shelton have each stated this offseason they’re nonetheless optimistic about Davis’ future on the place, however there’d be threat in relying on him because the starter subsequent season.
Their depth choices don’t present a lot offensive upside. Jason Delay stays on the 40-man roster, whereas the Bucs added Ali Sánchez on a giant league free agent contract. Delay is a profession .233/.293/.311 hitter in 127 MLB contests. Ali Sánchez is a 27-year-old with seven profession huge league appearances, none since 2021.