Yolmer Sanchez was signed by the San Francisco Giants on Tuesday to compete for the second base job. However, rookie Mauricio Dubon should still be the starter.
Adding a defensive-minded infielder to compete for a roster spot this spring and potentially provide depth to the roster makes perfect sense.
However, it sounds like he will be given a chance to compete for the starting second base job.
While Sanchez is unquestionably a stellar defensive second baseman, it's hard to pencil his bat into the everyday lineup.
Last season, he hit .252/.318/.321 for a 73 OPS+ with two home runs and 43 RBI in 555 plate appearances for the Chicago White Sox. That's roughly on part with the production the Giants received from Joe Panik before he was cut loose.
Simply put, Mauricio Dubon offers far more upside for a team in the process of rebuilding.
It is worth remembering that Dubon was acquired last summer ostensibly to be Panik's replacement. Acquiring a player who has a similar skill set to Panik is an interesting move.
It could simply be a case of the front office not wanting Dubon to get too cozy as the assumed starter at second base. Or maybe they are planning on shifting Dubon over to shortstop if Brandon Crawford struggles at the plate once again, so they wanted a contingency plan at second base.
Regardless, if Sanchez winds up getting playing time over Dubon during the regular season, it would be a mistake.
The 25-year-old Dubon was one of the few bright spots for the team late last season. He impressed with his glove and his bat, and was a refreshing splash of youth on an aging roster.
He even hit a home run off Clayton Kershaw!
For the sake of the team's future, Dubon needs to be playing regularly in 2020. He is by no means a huge defensive downgrade from Sanchez and whatever he may lack with the glove he makes up for with his offensive upside.
The 2020 Giants will be focusing on the future and Dubon has a chance to be a key contributor for the foreseeable future. That's exactly why he needs to be the starting second baseman to begin the season.