In a move that many believe indicates a looming free agent — and ace Zack Wheeler of the New York Mets is the player the world and his wife is pegging for the White Sox — Chicago put Gold Glove second baseman Yolmer Sánchez on irrevocable waivers on Monday.
The move clears a space on the 40-man roster ... soon. The waiver period is two days, so a corresponding transaction announcement is not necessarily imminent. But given the absolute non-necessity of DFAing Sánchez at this point in time, there’s a lotta, lotta smoke.
In related roster news, Daniel Palka cleared waivers and will remain White Sox property as a member of the Charlotte Knights.
Sánchez won a Gold Glove this month for his stellar defensive work this season, but his offense and pop have largely deserted him. With a looming arbitration award north of $6 million coming, releasing Sánchez is not a shocking development.
There’s a chance, however slim, that at such a price tag, Sánchez will not be claimed by another team, which in theory would free him up to sign with the White Sox at a lesser price. Presumably the White Sox did discuss buying out this year of arbitration with other contract terms (say, 2/$10 million or 2/8) before outright releasing Sánchez.
The move is good news for Leury García, who would be the incumbent veteran to assume a starting role at second base; Danny Mendick, who showed well in his September call-up and comes with a minimum salary cost; and Nick Madrigal, who seems destined to spend the start of 2020 in Charlotte but may be open to (and get offered) an “Eloy-style” shared-risk extension, as is already being speculated for Luis Robert.