According to Joel Sherman, the Mets signed veteran catcher Gary Sánchez to a minor league deal. Sánchez was most recently in the Giants organization, but was released per his request on May 2.
Sánchez, a former Yankee, has shown serious power over his career, with a career slash line of .225/.311/.467 and 154 home runs and 108 doubles over eight seasons, though one of those was just two at-bats in 2015. He’s a player - like his new organizational teammate Daniel Vogelbach - that averages more home runs than doubles consistently, although that trend reversed itself last season with the Twins.
The problem with Sánchez has always been his defense. He’s a poor defender whose offense is no longer elite enough to make the case for playing him behind the dish. Mets’ GM Billy Eppler was in the Yankees organization as Sánchez was coming up, so perhaps he has more faith in Sánchez’s defense than the rest of baseball does.
The Mets made this signing for depth at the position, as well as an insurance policy against one of three scenarios that all seem varying degrees of likely: a slower recovery process for Omar Narváez, a slower offensive development for Francisco Álvarez, or the continued offensive quagmire that has been Tomás Nido’s 2023 season.
Ideally, Sánchez could split time with Álvarez and get some right-handed DH at-bats as well, but that presumes a lot of things going right for Sánchez in the minors, or at lot of things going wrong for the other catchers. If nothing else, much like the Dominic Leone signing from last week, this shows the Mets being prudent in taking flyers on interesting players that won’t cost them much of anything.