Blake Snell reportedly wants to stay in San Diego and so does his catcher Gary Sanchez, according to Bryce Miller of the San Diego Union Tribune.
Just like with Snell, we don’t truly know if Sanchez wants to stay in San Diego. What’s he supposed to say when he’s asked by a member of the media? ‘No, I hate it here’?
But let’s say he does truly want to be back. Then the Padres should make that happen because they have something working right now offensively at the catching position, which hasn’t been the case in a long time at Petco Park.
Austin Nola (2020-2022), Victor Caratini (2021), Austin Hedges (2015-2020) and Derek Norris (2015-2016) all had a below average OPS+ or a well below average OPS+ in San Diego.
Sanchez and Luis Campusano have been sharing the catching duties since Campusano returned from the IL and they’ve been one of the best catching duos in baseball. Sanchez (114 OPS+) has 19 home runs with the Padres and Campusano (131 OPS+) is now hitting over .300 on the season.
Having both of them on the roster together next year could continue to benefit their production at the plate because both aren’t getting overworked like how some catchers in the league probably are.
Also don’t forget that the pitchers who are returning in 2024 will already be comfortable with both guys because they’ve worked with them before so there won’t have to be that transition period in spring training.
With this said, bringing back Sanchez might be tough because the free agent catching pool in the offseason isn’t too strong. Mitch Garver is the only other above average offensive catcher on the market as an unrestricted free agent and Spotrac has Sanchez being worth the most money right now (around $11.4 million).
It likely wouldn’t just be a one-year deal either so is San Diego willing to give Sanchez at least $20 million for the next couple years?
If Snell departs, he may find a way to convince Sanchez to go with him so that could be a double whammy for the Padres as well.