Catcher Gary Sánchez gets minor league deal from Giants

Updated Apr. 1, 2023 3:35 p.m. ET

NEW YORK (AP) — Catcher Gary Sánchez agreed to a minor league contract with the San Francisco Giants and will report to Triple-A Sacramento.

San Francisco's major league catchers are Roberto Pérez and 2018 first-round pick Joey Bart.

“We’ve been talking to and thinking about Gary for quite some time and done a lot of work on him dating back to the middle of the offseason, maybe even earlier,” San Francisco manager Gabe Kapler said Saturday. “He was available and healthy, and we thought it was a good opportunity for us to add some depth on a guy that we feel like has a chance to make a contribution at the major league level at some point.”

Sánchez was a two-time All-Star with the New York Yankees. The 30-year-old hit .299 with 20 homers in 2016 and hit .278 with 33 homers and 90 RBIs in 2017.


He struggled after 2017, especially in his final two seasons in New York. Sanchez hit .147 in 49 games in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season and .204 with 23 homers and 54 RBIs in 2021. The Yankees traded him to Minnesota with Gio Urshela for Josh Donaldson, Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Ben Rortvedt on March 13, 2022.

Sánchez batted .205 with 16 homers and 61 RBIs in 128 games for Minnesota last year while making 80 starts at catcher. He led the AL with 16 passed balls in 2017 and 18 in 2018 but had just four last year, when he threw out 28% of basestealers (14 of 36).

“In the offseason I watched a lot of video on Gary,” Kapler said. “I also talked to a lot of people, people with the Twins that have experience with him. Solid quality reports. A better framer last year than he had been in the past and I think we all know he’s got a really good arm and that might be valuable this season if you see stolen base attempts and success rates rise.”

San Francisco also optioned outfielder Blake Wisely to Sacramento, selected the contract of outfielder Bryce Johnson and transferred right-hander Luke Jackson to the 60-day injured list while he recovers from Tommy John surgery.

Johnson hit .310 with 13 runs in 16 spring training games and was 12 for 12 in steal attempts.

Jackson signed an $11.5 million, two-year deal with the Giants in January after missing all of last season due to the surgery. In 2021 with Atlanta, Jackson was 2-2 with a 1.98 ERA and 70 strikeouts in 71 appearances.


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