June 6, 2011; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants second baseman Freddy Sanchez (21) hits the game winning single against the Washington Nationals during the thirteenth inning at AT&T Park
A free agent, Sanchez has only played in 60 games the past two years after a multitude of injuries forced him from the game. Now, apparently healthy (at least, according to his camp), Sanchez is aiming to make a return and if he had his way, it would be a return to the Giants, per Andrew Baggarly:
"Sanchez’s “dream situation” would be to re-sign with the Giants, but they have no interest on a guaranteed deal. They also are satisfied with the backup infield candidates in camp, including Wilson Valdez, Tony Abreu and Kensuke Tanaka. Minor leaguers Nick Noonan and Brock Bond will get a long look, too."
After missing over a season and a half and on the wrong side of 35 (not to mention a bit of an injury history prior to the last two years), asking for a guaranteed contract is a bit much for Sanchez – especially if his “dream scenario” is indeed a return to the Giants ask he suggests. Still – given the Giants’ infield situation – is Sanchez somebody they should continue to take a risk with?
Losing Ryan Theriot to free agency, the Giants do have a utility spot open on their roster – one they will most likely fill with either the aforementioned Valdez, Abreu or Tanaka with Noonan and Bond getting smaller looks. That does leave a small opening for Sanchez if the two sides could come to some type of agreement, assuming Sanchez would come down on his guaranteed asking price.
There’s no doubt Sanchez would provide better numbers than a guy like Valdez or Abreu – the problem for Freddy would be staying on the field, a scenario that’s unlikely even in a reserve role. The addition of Kensuke Tanaka, who should make the big boy roster cuts down on the opportunities Sanchez would have. Add in the fact that Joaquin Arias will be the main backup reserve infielder (though namely on the left side) there just isn’t much room for Sanchez if you’re the Giants.
Sure, it would make for a wonderful storybook if Sanchez could return to form and provide some assistance to the Giants, but sadly, given what we know if his inability to stay on the field – his age – his role, it just doesn’t seem like a likely scenario. The Giants would obviously have a spot for Sanchez if he could swallow his pride, play on a minor league deal (potentially spend some time in Frenso) and eventually come up at some point this season – but that’s not going to happen unless Sanchez receives no Major League interest, another unlikely scenario.
In a perfect world, it would all work out – but that’s not the world we live in.