Brewers Rework Deal With Gary Sánchez After Physical Reveals Issue

Gary Sánchez

Getty Gary Sánchez

In early February, the Milwaukee Brewers agreed to terms on a one-year, $7 million deal with catch Gary Sánchez, but that deal has now been restructured, according to NY Post’s Jon Heyman. The new contract guarantees just $3 million with the remaining $4 million in incentives, with the signing confirmed by the team on February 21.

On February 21, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported that Sánchez’s deal was being reworked after an issue with his physical.

“The Brewers had lingering concern over the condition of Sánchez’s right wrist after his physical, and the expectation is he will accept a lower base salary with incentives that would enable him to earn the original $7 million if he stays healthy,” Rosenthal reported. “His initial deal also included a mutual option for 2025.”

Sánchez is coming off a comeback season with the San Diego Padres after he initially struggled to find a roster spot at all. The 31-year-old signed a minor-league deal with the San Francisco Giants on March 31, 2023, but opted out on May 2 when they didn’t call him up to the majors. He then signed another minor-league deal, this time with the New York Mets, and appeared in three major-league games with the team before being designated for assignment on May 25.

Four days later, the Padres claimed Sánchez off waivers. Despite a mediocre batting average of .218, the two-time All-Star managed to record 19 home runs in just 72 games in San Diego, with a wRC+ of 115 indicating he was 15% better than the league average hitter.

On September 6, Sánchez fractured his right wrist after being hit by a pitch from Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Jeff Hoffman. The injury ended his 2023 season and was the cause for his new deal being restructured with the Brewers.

Inside Sánchez’s Deal With the Brewers

On February 7, Heyman reported that Sánchez had agreed to a one-year, $7 million deal with the Brewers with an option for the 2025 season, pending a physical. Fans expected the team to make the signing official in the following days, but over the next two weeks, no announcement came.

It wasn’t until February 21 that Rosenthal reported the deal was being restructured due to concerns regarding Sánchez’s right wrist.

Sánchez’s new deal guarantees $3 million in 2024 with $4 million in incentives, meaning that the catcher will still be able to earn up to the original $7 million figure this season, but only if his wrist holds up. The new contract still includes a mutual option for the 2025 season.

Sánchez’s Role On the Brewers

Now that the deal is official, Brewers manager Pat Murphy is excited for what Sánchez will bring to the team in 2024.

“I mean, it’s exciting to sign a player of this caliber with what he’s done in the game,” Murphy told Todd Rosiak of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “I hear he’s a super kid. I don’t know him, but I know him as a player from coaching against him. He’s dangerous. When he comes to the plate, it’s danger. I think he’s a great addition.”

Since the Brewers already have their everyday catcher in All-Star William Contreras, Sánchez will operate as the team’s backup catcher in 2024. He’s likely to also step into the designated hitter role, especially if his 2023 penchant for hitting home runs is here to stay.

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