SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Freddy Sanchez hasn’t played a major league game since that fateful night in June, 2011, when he dislocated his shoulder while diving for a ground ball.
But Sanchez isn’t ready to call it a career just yet.
The popular former Giants infielder continues to stay active and play long toss in the hopes that a spot will open up in someone’s camp this spring, agent Paul Cobbe told me.
“He’s not looking to hang ‘em up by any means,” Cobbe said. “He’s honest and upfront about where he is and that he’d be a utility guy. But he wants to do that.”
Sanchez’s “dream situation” would be to re-sign with the Giants, but they have no interest on a guaranteed deal. They also are satisfied with the backup infield candidates in camp, including Wilson Valdez, Tony Abreu and Kensuke Tanaka. Minor leaguers Nick Noonan and Brock Bond will get a long look, too.
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It’s not that Sanchez left the Giants on bad terms, but it’s common for clubs to run out of patience when a rehabbing player is unable to make it back on the field. Sanchez was expected to be ready prior to opening day last year after undergoing shoulder surgery, but he wasn’t able to make throws across his body from second base. When his arm finally began to make progress over the summer, his back locked up and he required surgery to free a trapped nerve.
Sanchez is playing basketball, cycling and doing other activities “that weren’t allowed when he was under contract,” Cobbe joked. The agent said he has fielded offers for Sanchez to try to win a bench job, but they’d rather wait and monitor teams than take a non-guaranteed deal at this time.
Cobbe said Sanchez was approached by Team Mexico to play alongside Sergio Romo in the World Baseball Classic, but declined because he didn’t feel it would be fair to commit to the international tournament – and being ready in early March – after so much time away from high-level competition.
A three-time All-Star and NL batting champ with the Pirates, Sanchez created some lasting memories as a Giant as well – none bigger than the two-out, two-strike single that kept the Giants alive in the 2010 NLDS at Atlanta or his record-setting three-double performance against Cliff Lee in Game 1 of the World Series.
“It’s a love affair with San Francisco,” Cobbe said. “The fans have been so great to him.”