The Orioles have reached one-year agreements with catcher Pedro Severino ($1.825 million) and infielder Yolmer Sánchez ($1 million) for the 2021 season to avoid arbitration ahead of Wednesday’s non-tender deadline, MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reported.
Baltimore claimed Sánchez, 28, off waivers from the Chicago White Sox on Oct. 30, adding the former Gold Glove second baseman after he played just 11 games in 2020. The decision to tender a contract to Sánchez coupled with the return of shortstop José Iglesias casts doubt on the futures of fellow middle infielders Hanser Alberto and Pat Valaika, both of whom are non-tender candidates.
Sánchez is a career .245 switch-hitter whose best season came in 2017, when he hit 12 home runs and scored 63 runs for the White Sox over 141 games. Since then, he’s posted just a .667 OPS with 11 home runs in 315 games. Chicago released Sánchez in December 2019 but he returned to eight months later after a failed attempt to reach the majors on a minor-league deal with the San Francisco Giants.
Severino, 27, handled a bulk of the Orioles’ catching duties in 2020 alongside Chance Sisco. Since the start of the 2019 season, he’s put up a .730 OPS with 18 home runs and 65 RBIs over 144 games. The Orioles are expected to see top prospect Adley Rutschman reach the majors soon, perhaps as early as 2021, but Severino and Sisco are expected to hold down the catcher spot until then.
The MLB non-tender deadline is set for 8 p.m. ET on Wednesday. In addition to Alberto and Valaika, the Orioles have three other arbitration-eligible players in first baseman/outfielder Trey Mancini, outfielder Anthony Santander and reliever Shawn Armstrong. Baltimore already released first baseman Renato Núñez last week after he cleared waivers.