Signing this former all-star would help add much-needed depth at the catcher position
The Los Angeles Angels had what felt like their catcher for not only this year, but potentially a very long time in Logan O'Hoppe. The 23-year-old won the job in Spring Training and got off to a blistering start in his rookie season.
O'Hoppe was slashing .283/.339/.547 with four home runs and 13 RBI in his first 16 games of the season before going down with a shoulder injury which will sideline him for most, if not the entire rest of the season.
Losing O'Hoppe is a huge deal. Chad Wallach and Matt Thaiss have done a decent job filling in thus far, but after those two, the Angels have virtually nothing. They need to figure out a way to add depth, and bringing in a guy like Gary Sanchez would be beneficial.
LA Angels should look to fortify their catching depth by signing two-time all-star Gary Sanchez
Gary Sanchez looked like he was going to be a star for the Yankees. He had an .846 OPS through his first 3.5 full seasons, and made two all-star teams. The defense was always a concern, but the bat, especially for a catcher, was legit.
Since his most recent all-star appearance back in 2019, Sanchez has struggled at the plate. He's slashed .195/.287/.394 averaging 16 home runs and 46 RBI per season. These numbers are affected negatively partially because of the shortened 2020 season, but even taking that season out, he's hitting .205 with a .693 OPS and a 93 OPS+.
Because of his diminished production at the plate and constant questions about his defense, Sanchez ended up signing a minor league deal with the Giants. The deal included an opt-out if he wasn't brought up by May 1st. The beginning of May passed, Sanchez was not added to the 40-man roster, so he opted out.
The Angels have two catchers right now in Chad Wallach and Matt Thaiss - both of which I believe are better options right now than Sanchez. Both Thaiss and Wallach do not have options, and cannot be sent down without passing through waivers. However, if he's willing to take a minor league deal with another opt-out, the Angels should be all over it.
In AAA right now, the options are extremely limited for the Angels at the catcher position. Chris Okey has the most experience as he had 12 at-bats with the Reds last season, recording two hits. The downside to Okey is he's a career .206 hitter in the minors with a .609 OPS. That's not going to cut it. The other two catchers are Anthony Mulrine and Christian Molfetta. Mulrine has a .604 OPS in the minors, and Molfetta hasn't played in AAA yet.
While the Angels have Edgar Quero in AA, the young prospect has just 62 at-bats at that level. I'd give him more time there before bringing him up, especially in an emergency.
Sanchez would provide minor-league depth for now, but assuming one of Wallach or Thaiss gets hurt or struggles in the future, he'd be up with the Angels. Assuming he doesn't get a MLB deal offered to him, this is probably the best opportunity he will have for playing time. He's a guy the Angels showed interest in this past offseason, and it makes sense to bring him in at a position with zero depth.