Padres add Gary Sánchez after Mets release former Yankees catcher
Gary Sánchez is headed to his third MLB franchise in 2023. The San Diego Padres announced they have claimed Sánchez off waivers to help provide some offensive production at catcher after the New York Mets designated him for assignment on Thursday.
Sánchez, the former New York Yankees and Minnesota Twins catcher, started 2023 with the San Francisco Giants but chose free agency after failing to make the Giants' Opening Day roster out of spring training. He later joined the Mets, but only appeared in three games for the Yankees' crosstown rivals before being pushed out to make way for top prospect Francisco Álvarez.
The Padres are seemingly hoping that Sanchez provides some much-needed offense out of the catchers' spot, which has been a hole in San Diego's star-studded lineup thus far this season. Padres catchers are batting .156 with a .477 OPS entering Monday, with only three total home runs and 14 RBIs. Starting catcher Austin Nola is only batting .131 over 39 games this season.
Sanchez, a onetime star Yankees prospect, has made two All-Star teams and was a big part of the Yankees squads that made runs to the American League Championship Series in 2017 and 2019. But he has not recorded a batting average above .205 or an OPS over .730 — both well below MLB average — over a full season since 2019. Still, even that level of performance would still be a solid upgrade from what Padres catchers are currently producing.