Even with the 40-man roster full, the Milwaukee Brewers were not done adding to the offense for the 2024 season.
On Wednesday, the Brewers reportedly agreed to a deal with free agent catcher Gary Sanchez. According to MLB insider Jon Heyman, who originally broke news of the deal, he will receive a one-year contract worth $7MM and there will also be an option for a second year.
To support the move, the Brewers will have to let someone go from the 40-man roster. Earlier in the day, Milwaukee had just gotten the roster back to 40 when they both made the deal to acquire pitcher Jacob Junis official and subsequently designated pitcher Clayton Andrews for assignment.
The Brewers have reportedly. signed free agent catcher Gary Sanchez to a one-year contract with an option for 2025.
The 31-year-old Sanchez is coming off a season that saw him get designated for assignment from the Mets after a very brief stint in New York, who he signed with that offseason, and then get claimed by the Padres, who retained him for the rest of the season.
Sanchez would play in 72 games with the Padres in 2023, hitting .218 with a .792 OPS. Even in that few games, he still managed to club 19 home runs and drive in 46 runs.
Sanchez's stint with the Mets was his second in New York City as he began his career with the Yankees, who signed him in 2009 and for whom he played seven major league seasons (2015-21) and was a two-time All-Star. He also spent one season with the Twins in 2022.
Sanchez isn't much of a base hit or on base guy with career averages of .225 and .309, respectively, in those departments. Where he has been most effective is as a run producer with a career .469 slugging percentage (.779 OPS), 173 homers, and 448 RBIs.
The signing is still somewhat curious as the catching crew appeared to be set with Eric Haase being signed this offseason to back up starter William Contreras. But the Brewers were 25th in slugging and 23rd in OPS in 2023 so any infusion in offense will be welcome.
It remains to be seen exactly how Sanchez will fit into the equation for 2024. It wouldn't be the first time, though, that the Brewers acquired someone to address an offensive need and figured out the roster fit later.