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Mets Sign Former Yankee Gary Sanchez to Shore Up Catching Depth, Assign Him to Triple-A

 Leif Skodnick  |    May 10th, 2023 12:21am EDT

Gary Sanchez, shown here with the Minnesota Twins, has signed a minor league deal with the New York Mets. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

By Julian Guilarte
World Baseball Network

The New York Mets signed catcher Gary Sánchez to a minor league deal on Tuesday, May 9.

Sánchez will report to the Mets Triple-A affiliate, the Syracuse Mets. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reported the deal. He will make $1.5 million dollars if he makes the Major League roster and he could earn an additional $1.2 million dollars of incentives.

Sánchez asked for his release from the San Francisco Giants, who had assigned him to their Triple-A affiliate, the Sacramento River Cats, on May 2. Sanchez had eight RBI and an OPS of .501 in 16 games with the River Cats.

The 30-year-old Sánchez returns to the big apple after spending seven seasons with the New York Yankees from 2015 to 2021. Sánchez is a two-time All-Star and Silver Slugger Award winner. He was dealt to the Minnesota Twins with infielder Gio Urshela for infielders Josh Donaldson, Isiah Kiner-Falefa and catcher Ben Rortvedt before the 2022 season.

Sánchez struggled last season with the Twins. He hit 16 home runs, drove in 61 runs and had an OPS of .659. He has 154 home runs, 401 RBI and an OPS of .778 through his eight-year career. Sánchez was almost a rookie of the year candidate in 2016 despite only playing 53 games. He had 20 home runs, 42 RBI and an OPS of 1.033.

He had a strong start to his career with 105 home runs in his first four seasons from 2016-19, but hasn’t posted an OPS higher than .730 during the last three seasons. His arm has always been a strength, throwing out 28% of base stealers, but Sánchez has struggled with his receiving, allowing a glaring 64 passed balls during his career.

The Mets recently called up MLB.com’s top catching prospect Francisco Álvarez. Alvarez has an OPS of .584 in 50 at-bats. Thomas Nido is their backup, and his strong suit is on the defensive end. Nido has an OPS of .269 in 51 at-bats.

The Mets also signed catcher Omar Narvaez during the offseason, who was previously with the Milwaukee Brewers. Narvaez injured his calf in the opening week of the season and will still be sidelined for at least another month. Sánchez will add to the Mets’ catching depth and could even be an option to DH if he gets called up to the big club.