Baltimore Orioles: Claiming Yolmer Sanchez Was Wise Move

The Baltimore Orioles are already making moves in the late 2020 off-season.

The Baltimore Orioles first big move of the offseason – picking up second-baseman Yolmer Sanchez from the Chicago White Sox – was a smart one.

Sanchez brings a Gold Glove and a switch-hitting bat to Baltimore. The Venezuelan native has a seven-year slash of .245/.300/.360 during his time with the White Sox. Unfortunately, he doesn’t bring a power bat to Baltimore.

His claim to fame in Chicago was in 2018 when he led the AL with 10 triples. Five of those, he hit in the massive outfield at Guaranteed Rate Field. He hit two in one game against the Detroit Tigers at Guaranteed Rate. He hit two others in games against Detroit. He also managed to hit a triple at Fenway, which is good news for Orioles fans.

Sanchez is listed as a second-baseman, but he played shortstop and third for the White Sox. In fact, in 2018, he played nearly every game at third. Considering that the Orioles have an inexpensive and decent second baseman in Hanser Alberto, Sanchez isn’t likely to spend much time there. It’s safe to say that he’ll take third after Rio Ruiz finished 2020 with a slash of 222/.286/.427.

Sanchez might not be a flashy player, but he is consistent on offense and defense. He earned a Gold Glove in 2019.

Unfortunately for Sanchez, he lost his spot at third to Yoan Moncada and his spot at second to Nick Madrigal. The White Sox also have Tim Anderson at shortstop. While Sanchez is good, he couldn’t keep up with the young players moving into the White Sox lineup. Despite Moncada’s .225 batting average, the White Sox brass decided to keep him instead of Sanchez.

The loss in Chicago is a gain in Baltimore. Interestingly, the White Sox granted him free agency at the end of the 2019 season, and the San Francisco Giants snapped him up as a minor league player. He never played for the Giants, and they released him, only for the White Sox to pick him back up just before the 2020 trade deadline. He played in 11 games for the Sox and hit a slash of .313/.476/.688 with three doubles. He hit one home run in his last game of the season.

Expect the Orioles to use Sanchez as an everyday player. He’s only 28, and is nimble on the field and adept at the plate. He’s an underrated player, like Jose Iglesias, and Sanchez will quickly become a fan favorite – also like Iglesias.