SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — On a minor-league contract now and in a new clubhouse, Yolmer Sanchez can see from afar the money the White Sox have been handing out to their young core.
Sanchez, a 2019 Gold Glove winner, is as good as they come defensively, but his offense was not deemed worthy of the $6 million-plus he was scheduled to make through the arbitration process for this season, so the Sox ended their relationship.
Sanchez won’t dwell on it, at least not in an interview setting. Out of respect for his teammates on the Giants, any disappointment he might feel will not be available for public consumption.
“I played with them for a long time,” Sanchez said from the Giants’ clubhouse Saturday morning. “You make relationships with those guys. They were really special to me, especially those guys I played with for a long time. But I’m focused right now on my new team here, and I have been making good relationships.”
He turned to his left toward fellow Giants middle infielder Mauricio Dubon, who was flipping through his phone.
“I’ve been working a lot with Dubon; we’re really close, right, Dubbie?” Sanchez said with a laugh to his 25-year-old teammate, who smiled and shrugged. “No, but I have been making new friends, so I feel good.”
Working on swing changes, Sanchez is only 2-for-21 (.095) in eight spring games. Nothing is certain on his minor-league deal, but the 27-year-old has no qualms about picking the Giants over other guaranteed options.
“Bet on yourself; you have to do it all the time,” he said. “Believe that you can do it, and that’s what I felt when I picked this team.”
Asked about the contracts given to former teammates Eloy Jimenez, Luis Robert and most recently Yoan Moncada, Sanchez was ecstatic for them. Not everybody gets to sign on such a thick dotted line like that.
“Yeah, I mean, I’m happy for everybody that can get a contract, a big deal, and not just them, everybody in the league,” he said. “When I see players get some big money, I’m really happy for them and happy for everybody.”
Gio getting close
Manager Rick Renteria said that left-hander Gio Gonzalez will pitch in a game next week, although he did not specify if it would be a Cactus League game or a B game on a back field.
Renteria, like general manager Rick Hahn a day earlier, expressed confidence that Gonzalez would be ready to assume the No. 5 spot in the rotation early in the season despite not making an appearance in any games this spring.
Renteria was asked if there was a contingency plan just in case.
“Well, I’m sure that would be something that we’ll deal with should that be something we are actually facing,” Renteria said. “I just don’t see us facing that, but everybody always makes adjustments as things continue to roll forward.”