Passed up time and time again, and outrighted off the roster, Nationals fans have probably seen the last of infielder Adrian Sanchez.
Loyalty is a two way street, until it isn’t. For the Washington Nationals the business of baseball got in the way last October when they out-righted one of their own. The decision surely was a difficult one, though a necessary one, given the circumstances. Rather than sign with another team, the player chose to return to the only organization he has known. However, we may have seen the last of Adrian Sanchez playing at the big league level.
Signed out of Venezuela at the age of sixteen, Sanchez spent seven years in Rookie Ball and at Single-A before being promoted to the next level. He made his major league debut in 2017, after spending ten years in the minor leagues.
Over the span of three seasons from 2017-2019, Sanchez played in 90 games accumulating 160 total at-bats. Primarily promoted as a September call-up when rosters expand to 40-players, Sanchez made few early season appearances when the injury bug bit one of the regulars.
Unfortunately injury appeared too close to home for Sanchez in 2020, when he tore his Achilles tendon in summer camp. Surgery ended his season before it started and at the conclusion of the pandemic shortened stanza, Sanchez was removed from the roster.
30 years old and rehabbing a serious injury, the Nationals decided to move on from someone who had been with them for fourteen years, his entire professional career.
That’s when we thought the loyalty was over. And then Sanchez was signed to a minor league contract for the 2021 season. Sanchez will continue to rehab and begin the season on the injured list as a part of the Nationals minor league system, most likely at Triple-A Rochester.
With newly signed Jordy Mercer most likely destined for Rochester, and ahead of Sanchez on the depth chart, the chances of Sanchez getting back to the majors seem slim to unlikely. Regardless of whether he appears in the nation’s capital again, Sanchez has a World Series ring and a spot in the hearts on Nationals fans forever. You don’t see loyalty like that every day, or with every organization.