The Red Sox announced they’ve selected infielder Yolmer Sánchez onto the major league roster. They’ve also recalled righty Connor Seabold from Triple-A Worcester. In corresponding moves, righty Tanner Houck and outfielder Jarren Duran are going on the restricted list. That’s typical procedure for players who haven’t been vaccinated against COVID-19 on teams heading for a series in Toronto, as the Canadian government prohibits unvaccinated athletes from crossing the border.
Sánchez makes it to the majors for the first time in two years. A longtime member of the White Sox, the Venezuela native is a career .245/.300/.360 hitter over parts of seven seasons. He’s a highly-regarded defensive infielder who has logged significant time at both second and third base in his career. Sánchez claimed the American League’s Gold Glove Award at the keystone in 2019.
Signed to a minor league deal over the offseason, the 29-year-old has spent the entire season in Worcester. He’s hitting .253/.381/.424 with eight home runs and an excellent 16.6% walk rate over 265 plate appearances with the WooSox. Sánchez has played each of second, third and shortstop in the minors this season.
The Sox didn’t announce whether he was being brought to the majors as a designated COVID “substitute.” Players with that designation — which can only be granted by the commissioner’s office — occupy temporary spots on the roster and can be sent back to the minor leagues without being exposed to waivers or optioned.
That’d be a meaningful distinction in Sánchez’s case, as he has more than five years of MLB service time and thus cannot be optioned without his consent. If he were tagged with the substitute designation, he’d likely head back to Worcester when Houck and Duran are eligible to return on Friday. If not, he’ll have to remain on the active roster or be designated for assignment from this point forward.
Chris Cotillo of MassLive reported the moves before the team announcement.