Sanchez was released by the Mariners on Sunday, Greg Johns of MLB.com reports. The 32-year-old hit .250 through nine Cactus League games, but trailed Jesus Montero and Dae-Ho Lee for the backup first base position, leading to his release. The veteran hit .229/.293/.385 in his last MLB season (2014) and will now look for new team heading into the season.
Sanchez's opt-out clause in his contract is not triggered until a few months into the season, which probably puts him at a disadvantage for winning the right-handed platoon job at first base, the Tacoma News Tribune reports. Sanchez is competing with Jesus Montero and Dae-Ho Lee. But Montero is out of options and Lee has a late-March opt-out clause. The team likely wouldn't risk losing both of them unless Sanchez really crushes it in spring training. Sanchez hit .291/.382/.481 against lefties in seven big-league seasons but spent last year in Japan where he batted .226/.328/.392.
Sanchez signed a minor league contract with the Mariners on Friday that includes an invitation to spring training, Jerry Crasnick of Baseball America reports. Sanchez spent last year playing baseball in Japan, posting a .226/.328/.392 slash line over 232 plate appearances. He expressed a wish to play in the majors again this season, and now that Seattle has signed him, he has his chance. The Mariners are pretty set at first base with Adam Lind, but the veteran will likely compete for the backup job and hope to make the big league team that way.
Sanchez hopes to return to MLB this season, SB Nation's Chris Cotillo reports. The 32-year-old Sanchez spent 2015 with the Rakuten Golden Eagles in Japan, posting a .226/.328/.392 slash line over 232 plate appearances. He owns a career .863 OPS against left-handed pitching in the majors, but his declining performance and inability to handle righties will make it tough to earn a spot on a big-league roster.
First baseman Gaby Sanchez signed a one-year, $2.5 million contract to play in Japan for the 2015 season, reports ESPN. Sanchez played for the Pirates in 2014 and hit .229 with seven home runs and 33 RBI. In 2015, he'll play for the Rakuten Eagles of Japan's Pacific League.