The White Sox have placed infielder Yolmer Sánchez, the 2019 AL Gold Glove winner at second base, on outright waivers, as The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal was the first to report Monday afternoon:
#WhiteSox Gold Glove 2B Yolmer Sánchez on outright waivers, sources tell The Athletic. Loomed as non-tender candidate with @mlbtraderumors projecting him to earn $6.2M in arbitration. Available to any team in waiver process. CWS clears 40-man roster spot.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) November 25, 2019
The 27-year-old Sánchez won his first Gold Glove in 2019, posting an AL-best 11 defensive runs saved and a majors-best 5.0 UZR/150 over 142 starts (149 games overall) at second base. He had a down offensive season, hitting .252/.318/.321 with two homers and five steals over 555 plate appearances.
Sánchez doesn’t provide a ton of offense — he has a .244/.299/.357 career slash line while averaging eight homers and eight steals per 162 games — but he’s dependable (140 or more games played in each of the past three seasons) and versatile (experience at second base, third base, and shortstop), so one would think he’d have his fair share of options as a utility player, and perhaps a few as an affordable second-division starter, much like Freddy Galvis was for the Blue Jays and then Reds last season.
Ultimately, the White Sox just decided they didn’t want to pay him in arbitration — as Rosenthal writes, MLB Trade Rumors projected him to earn $6.2 million in 2020 — so they’ll likely look to upgrade at that position via free agency or the trade market. Really, they pretty much have no choice, as they only have four infielders on their 40-man roster following this move: José Abreu (who is more of a DH, anyway), utility man Danny Mendick (who has 40 major-league plate appearances under his belt), and franchise building blocks Tim Anderson and Yoán Moncada. For what it’s worth, outfielder Leury García is also capable of filling in along the infield and saw his most action as an infielder (19 games at shortstop, two at second base, and one at third) since 2014 this past season, but it’s difficult to imagine the ChiSox counting on him as an frequent contributor in the infield.
Free-agent infielders who could fit the White Sox’s needs include Howie Kendrick, Neil Walker, Eric Sogard, Brian Dozier, Jonathan Schoop, Starlin Castro, Brock Holt, Jason Kipnis, Wilmer Flores, and Mike Moustakas.