Freddy Sanchez hasn’t played a game in the majors since June 10, 2011. The reason: shoulder and back surgeries, each of which can, independently, drain a big leaguer of any value he once had. But teams are willing, apparently, to at least give him a chance:
Interest in free-agent second baseman Freddy Sanchez has picked up since the start of the New Year, agent Paul Cobbe told ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick. About 20 teams have asked to take a look at Sanchez’s medical records, Cobbe said.
If it’s from the agent take it with a grain of salt, but it would not be shocking to see someone take a chance on Sanchez, hoping for a low-risk addition that could, possibly, bring along some offensive upside. Think of it as an Eric Chavez-lite situation.
The Tampa Bay Rays have signed lefty swingman Ryan Merritt to a minor league contract. Nah, it’s not a big signing but we’ll take anything today.
Merritt, who has spent his entire career in the Indians organization, spent the entire 2018 season at Triple-A Columbus. It wasn’t a bad year for him — he posted a 3.79 ERA and a 52/2 K/BB ratio in 13 starts and two relief appearances covering 71.1 innings — but the Tribe just couldn’t find a role for him at the big league level. He has shown in the past, however, that he can hack it in the bigs, having posted a 1.71 ERA in 31.2 innings with the Indians between 2016-2017.
His thing is that he simply doesn’t strike guys out at anything approaching a typical clip for a big leaguer: 3.7 per nine innings in his small sample of major league outings and 6.3 Ks per nine innings in the minors. Which, while it may not prevent him from having success at the big league level, is likely a reason for the limited number of chances he’s been given.
The Rays are probably the best place he could go, frankly. They’ve shown themselves willing to utilize guys in unique ways and are more likely than most teams to find places to spot a lefty control specialist who has shown he can both start and come out of the pen.