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Gary Sánchez may not be a free agent for much longer.
Jon Heyman of MLB Network reported the Los Angeles Angels are interested in the veteran catcher with Logan O’Hoppe sidelined by a shoulder injury. Heyman noted Angels manager Phil Nevin and hitting coach Marcus Thames are familiar with Sánchez from their time together with the New York Yankees.
J.P. Hoornstra of the Orange County Register reported on O’Hoppe’s injury last month, noting he needed surgery for a torn labrum and was expected to miss four-to-six months.
“It’s a tough pill to swallow,” he said. “You do everything in your power that it doesn’t happen. One thing I have to tell myself the past couple days is that sitting around and feeling sorry for myself isn’t going to help any situation. I look at it like a challenge.”
The 23-year-old was off to a solid start and slashed .283/.339/.547 with four home runs and 13 RBI through 16 games this season.
His absence leaves a need for more catching depth for the Angels, and Sánchez is one option, even though he is yet to play in a major league game this season.
The minor-league contract he signed with the San Francisco Giants this offseason included a clause that allowed him to opt out and become a free agent if they didn’t add him to the 40-man roster by May 1, and he did just that.
There was a time when Sánchez was one of the most feared offensive catchers in the league when he was with the Yankees. He was an All-Star in 2017 with 33 home runs and 90 RBI and then made the All-Star Game in 2019 on his way to 34 home runs and 77 RBI.
However, he struggled since then and slashed .195/.287/.394 across three seasons from 2020-22, with the last one coming on the Minnesota Twins. The 30-year-old might be past his prime and hit an ugly .164 in 16 minor-league games this season.
Yet the Angels need some depth and might make a move with the hope he can rediscover his former form with a change of scenery.