The Twins and catcher Gary Sánchez have avoided arbitration by agreeing to terms on a $9MM salary, the Associated Press reports. That’s the midpoint between the parties’ respective $9.5MM and $8.5MM filing figures, negating the need for a hearing that had been set to take place next week.
Minnesota acquired Sánchez from the Yankees as part of the Spring Training blockbuster that sent Josh Donaldson and Isiah Kiner-Falefa to New York. He’s appeared in 44 games with his new club, hitting .224/.282/.435 in 177 trips to the plate. Sánchez has struggled to reach base, largely due to a personal-low 5.6% walk rate, but he’s popped seven home runs and 13 doubles to make a strong impact from a power perspective. The 29-year-old has started 24 games behind the plate and collected 18 appearances as the team’s designated hitter.
This was Sánchez’s final trip through the arbitration process. He’ll hit free agency for the first time in his career next offseason, part of a fairly deep catching class. Willson Contreras is the clear headliner of the group, with Sánchez joining such players as Omar Narváez, Mike Zunino, Christian Vázquez and Tucker Barnhart among the other potential regulars. Sánchez has as much offensive upside as anyone aside from Contreras, but he’d come under fire for his defense in the Bronx and has ceded the majority of starts behind the plate to Ryan Jeffers in Minneapolis.
Minnesota has now wrapped up its arbitration class without the need for any hearings. The Twins agreed to terms with Tyler Duffey, Gio Urshela, Caleb Thielbar and Danny Coulombe before the start of the season, while they settled with Luis Arraez last month. Chris Paddack and Emilio Pagán, the team’s other two arbitration-eligible players, had agreed to terms with the Padres before being traded to Minnesota on Opening Day.