The SF Giants officially cut ties with veteran starter Aaron Sanchez by placing him on unconditional release waivers on Friday. This was the likely outcome after the right-handed hurler was designated for assignment last week.
SF Giants: Veteran starter Aaron Sanchez released
When the Giants DFA’d Sanchez, there was a small chance that they would be able to keep him in the organization if he accepted an assignment to Triple-A. That said, the Giants have added a pair of veteran arms in Tyler Chatwood and Matt Shoemaker recently, so there would have been no assurances of playing time, even in the minors.
By placing him on release waivers, he will effectively become a free agent. The 29-year-old signed a one-year, $4 million pact with the Giants in the offseason after missing the entire 2020 campaign following shoulder surgery.
On the surface, Sanchez performed well in the Orange and Black, registering a 3.06 ERA, 4.06 FIP, 1.33 WHIP, and 6.6 K/9 across 35.1 frames. He missed nearly three months after experiencing biceps tightness and then battled a blister issue when his rehab assignment originally began.
However, he demonstrated subpar command as he posted a 3.8 BB/9 rate to go with a fastball that averaged just 90 MPH in 2021. Earlier in his career, Sanchez’s fastball velocity sat comfortably in the low-to-mid 90’s, but that velocity has not fully returned as he has battled multiple injuries.
Interestingly, the Giants signed the righty after seeing him hit 98 MPH in an offseason bullpen session. Though, that velocity never made an appearance with San Francisco.
In addition to this, the Giants struggled to get length out of Sanchez’s starts. He made nine appearances, including seven starts, and did not complete over five innings in any one start.
In his final start with the Giants, he finished just two innings of one-run ball including four hits against a tough Milwaukee Brewers lineup. This put a strain on a bullpen that needed to complete nine innings of work to secure a 9-6 victory in extra innings in Milwaukee.
Given the promise that Sanchez showed much earlier in his career, he will continue to get opportunities to pitch. At this stage, though, it might be best if he makes a permanent transition to the bullpen as durability concerns linger. The Giants took a flyer on Sanchez and even though it did not work out in the end, it was worth the risk.