The Minnesota Twins missed out on the Yu Darvish sweepstakes, but at least they got Anibal Sanchez …
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Minnesota Twins have agreed to a one-year, $2.5 million deal with veteran pitcher Anibal Sanchez, pending a physical. Sanchez could make an extra $2.5 million through incentives.
anibal sanchez has 2.5M mlb deal with 2.5M incentives pending physical #twins
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) February 16, 2018
Sanchez is likely to compete for a spot at the back end of the Twins’ rotation. The Twins needed to get a starter, but this signing might be a bit of a disappointment to fans considering they were thought to be serious contenders for Yu Darvish.
Though Sanchez is probably not the final answer to the Twins’ pitching needs (they’ll likely be in on Alex Cobb and/or Lance Lynn), his contract is low risk on Minnesota’s end. At the very least, he can eat some innings for the Twins until Ervin Santana comes back from a finger injury. Best case scenario, Sanchez looks more like he did a few years ago and provides the team with adequate pitching depth.
Worst case scenario? Well, that could be pretty ugly. Sanchez has been on a rapid decline the past few seasons. He’s shown short flashes of his former self, but overall he’s struggled badly in recent years. In 2017, he went 3-7 with a 6.41 ERA to go along with a 5.33 FIP and 1.595 WHIP.
Sanchez has had a long career filled with productive seasons. In 2006, he threw a no-hitter, and in 2013, he was the American League ERA leader. But since 2015, he’s pitched to the tune of a 5.67 ERA over 415 2/3 innings pitched. Those numbers seem to indicate that Sanchez’s tank might be just about empty.
The veteran right-hander will turn 34 this month. Given his age and major regression over the last three seasons, this could be Sanchez’s final chance to prove he can still pitch in the big leagues.