A day after the Orioles agreed to a one-year deal with catcher Pedro Severino to avoid the salary arbitration process, infielder Yolmer Sánchez also agreed to a deal worth $1 million ahead of Wednesday’s deadline, according to an industry source with knowledge of the deal.
Sánchez, who was claimed off waivers from the Chicago White Sox in late October, is expected to be part of the Orioles’ infield conversation in 2021, though that situation will be dictated by how the tender deadline goes.
While shortstop José Iglesias had his 2021 contract option picked up by the Orioles earlier this offseason, infielders Hanser Alberto and Pat Valaika are also eligible for salary arbitration this winter and the team must decide Wednesday by 8 p.m. whether to tender them contracts and begin that process or release those players to free agency.
Any role for Sánchez will likely be determined by whether those players are back at manager Brandon Hyde’s disposal in 2021.
Sánchez is used to this date in the baseball calendar being an active one for him. Despite winning a Gold Glove award in 2019 with the White Sox, his projected salary for 2020 was considered too high and he wasn’t tendered a contract.
Instead, Sánchez signed with the San Francisco Giants before ending up back in Chicago for that team’s playoff push.
Agreements that supersede the arbitration process, such as Severino’s and Sánchez’s deals, could also come in before Wednesday evening’s deadline to provide both sides certainty before the arbitration process.
Others who must be tendered contracts by Wednesday include Trey Mancini, Anthony Santander and Shawn Armstrong.
Severino was also on that list before agreeing to a $1.825 million deal Tuesday, and slugger Renato Núñez was designated for assignment and ultimately released because they team wasn’t going to give him a raise through arbitration in his first year of eligibility.
MLB.com first reported the agreement with Sánchez.