The Chicago White Sox are signing Yolmer Sanchez to a contract that might be able to help.
On Tuesday, MLB.com’s Mark Feinstand reported that 2019 Gold Glove winner Yolmer Sanchez is returning to the Chicago White Sox on a minor-league deal. This is a savvy, low risk, bargain signing for the White Sox that could pay dividends for the rest of the season.
Sanchez spent six years with the White Sox and his hilarious antics quickly made him a fan favorite on the south side. Along with being able to come up with creative ways to use a Gatorade cooler he was a versatile defender and a switch hitter.
Despite being one of the few bright spots for fans on some terrible White Sox teams over the course of the rebuild, bringing back Yolmer this offseason would not have made sense. Winning the Gold Glove meant the Sox were likely going to have to overpay for a player that has a career .244 batting average.
The White Sox were moving out of the rebuild phase and Sanchez is not a starting-caliber player on a contending team. On top of that, the White Sox had depth in the infield. Leury Garcia who is also a utility player swings a much better bat and plays more positions; Danny Mendick has shown promise at second base and highly regarded prospect Nick Madrigal was waiting in the wings.
Flash forward to the midway point of the season and Leury Garcia is lost for the season with a torn thumb ligament and Nick Madrigal is Schaumberg recovering from a shoulder injury. The current bench player that could be an option is Ryan Goins who has played sparingly. Yolmer was released by the San Francisco Giants on Friday making him available for the Sox to snag.
They are bringing back a player on a cheap deal who can provide a lot to a White Sox playoff push if he is used properly. By all accounts, Sanchez is great in the clubhouse and loved by his teammates. He provides lots of energy which is something that the Sox were lacking when Tim Anderson went down with an injury. He is familiar with most of the guys and will add to the clubhouse chemistry that is already pretty good.
He also provides speed. The White Sox have relied on Ryan Goins as a pinch-runner this season and Sanchez will serve as an upgrade. Sanchez stole 14 bases in 2018 while Goins has only stolen 6 in his career. On top of providing speed off the bench, he also brings an above-average glove and can play multiple positions. The defense is not one of the White Sox strong suits so adding a Gold Glove winner off the bench is a nice luxury to have.
Finally, while Yolmer Sanchez’s offense numbers do not jump off the page, he is a switch hitter who can handle the bat. He led the league in triples in 2018 which is also another example of his speed. If used sparingly, Yolmer Sanchez can be a valuable tool in Rick Renteria’s toolbox while adding some fun celebrations to an already exciting White Sox team.