The Mariners have agreed to terms with veteran first baseman Gaby Sanchez on a minor-league deal with an invite to big-league spring training. Sanchez will compete for the backup first-base job.
The Mariners have added yet another name to the competition for the backup first-base spot on their roster.
On Friday ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick was the first to report that veteran first baseman Gaby Sanchez had agreed to a minor-league contract with the Mariners with an invitation to big-league spring training. Several other outlets confirmed the report. Mariners officials would not comment on the reported deal. Sanchez must pass a physical for the deal to become official.
Sanchez joins Jesus Montero, Ed Lucas and Travis Ishikawa as candidates for the backup spot behind Adam Lind at first base and a bat off the bench. Montero, Lucas and Sanchez have the edge in being right-handed hitters, because Lind bats left-handed.
Sanchez, 32, spent last season playing in Japan for the Rakuten Eagles. He appeared in 66 games, hitting .226 with a .720 on-base plus slugging percentage, including 12 doubles, seven home runs and 18 RBI.
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He last played in the big leagues in 2014 with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Sanchez appeared in 123 games and hit .229 with a .679 OPS, 18 doubles, seven homers and 33 RBI.
Over his seven-year big-league career, Sanchez has played in 700 games and is a career .229 hitter with a .744 OPS. His best year came in 2011 when he was named to the National League All-Star team. Sanchez hit .269 that season with a .779 OPS, including 35 doubles, 19 homers and 78 RBI.
If he wins the backup first-base job, Sanchez would be used in platoon situation with Lind and face mostly left-handed pitching. He’s a career .291 hitter with an .863 OPS against lefties.