Mets face Gary Sanchez decision as former Yankee can opt out of contract Friday

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Gary Sanchez Mets
Yankees DH Gary Sanchez rounds the bases after his two-run homer in the first inning.

QUEENS — The deadline for catcher and former Yankees backstop Gary Sanchez to opt out of his minor-league contract with the Mets comes on Friday, which could potentially force the Queens club into some difficult decisions. 

After signing a deal with the Mets last week, the 30-year-old has performed well with the organization’s Triple-A affiliate in Syracuse, slashing .318/.531/.545 (1.076 OPS) with one home run and five RBI.

“[General manager Billy Eppler] and I haven’t talked about it in depth,” Mets manager Buck Showalter said. “Billy and people are watching, Carlos Beltran has been down there and our catching people have been there.”

A path to the majors for the two-time All-Star, though, is a crowded one. Francisco Alvarez has begun to round into form with consistent playing time given the calf injury that landed Omar Narvaez on the 60-day IL and the dry eye syndrome that has shelved Tomas Nido.

Over his last 10 games, Alvarez has a .948 OPS with three home runs and five RBI, which makes a potential decision to option him back down to Triple-A a head-scratching decision to make room for Sanchez. Especially considering the 21-year-old was the No. 1 rated prospect in baseball and the organization’s catcher of the future. 

Francisco alvarez Mets
Francisco Alvarez (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Both Nido and Narvaez are expected to jump back into rehab games over the next week, which means reinforcements behind the plate are on the way. Current backup Michael Perez, who went 4-for-4 on Sunday in D.C. against the Nationals, will then be sent back down to Triple-A.

That means the only logical options for the Mets to fit Sanchez, if they wanted to entertain that idea, is to demote Alvarez or trade Nido to ensure two catchers remain on the active roster. If they see him as more of a DH option — which, again, becomes convoluted with Daniel Vogelbach being joined by the newly-promoted Mark Vientos — the Mets could look elsewhere on the roster sheet to make a corresponding move.

“We’ll see,” Showalter said. “I’ll lean on what [management] wants to do and how they’ll do it. What happens when he gets here? A lot of possibilities and I haven’t gotten there yet.”

For more on Gary Sanchez and the Mets, visit AMNY.com