The Angels, who will have their 40-man roster at 39 once starter Joe Blanton and reliever Sean Burnett pass their physicals, chose not to make a pick in the Major League portion of the Draft, which took place at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel and wrapped up the Winter Meetings.
Any player taken in the Rule 5 Draft costs his new club $50,000. That player must then remain on the drafting team's active Major League roster for the entirety of the following season, or be offered back to the original club for $25,000.
Sanchez, 29, has a .255/.304/.308 line in 184 career Major League games. In 107 games for the Astros' Triple-A affiliate this past season, he hit .320 with a .390 on-base percentage, prompting the Angels to give him a chance to compete for the backup-infielder spot this spring.
With Sanchez now gone, Tommy Field, who was claimed off waivers from the Twins, and Brendan Harris, signed to a Minor League deal, will compete with Andrew Romine for the utility-infield spot.
The Angels selected lefty-hitting outfielder Robbie Widlansky, who posted a .316/.404/.446 slash line for the Orioles' Double-A affiliate in 2012, during the Triple-A phase of the Draft.
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.