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REPORT: Twins Sign Anibal Sanchez to One-Year Deal

Brandon Warne



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Twitter was ablaze with the news that the Minnesota Twins had signed former Marlins and Tigers starter Anibal Sanchez to a one-year deal. Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports was the first to report a done deal, and also reported that it was a big-league deal worth $2.5 million over one year with the possibility of doubling that total via starts-based incentives.


MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger passes on that the deal is not guaranteed, though it does mean Sanchez will get a 40-man spot — one step up from a minor-league deal with an invite to spring training.

Sanchez came over to the Tigers in the second-biggest deal between them and the Marlins — the other involved Miguel Cabrera, Dontrelle Willis, Cameron Maybin and Andrew Miller — and after pitching well down the stretch in 2012 earned an $80 million deal over five years.


The righty, who turns 34 later this month, turned in two strong seasons to start the contract. He finished fourth in AL Cy Young balloting in 2013 with a 2.57 ERA in 182 innings in 2013, and the next year posted a 3.43 ERA in 126 innings as he was limited to just 22 appearances (21 starts) and 126 innings.


The last three years have been much more unsightly, and may serve more as a cautionary tale than anything.

It’d have been hard to find a Twins fan not in favor of signing Sanchez five years ago when he got the big deal from the Tigers.


And right now, it’s hard to dodge a burning torch or a pitchfork among Twins fans wondering why this is the move instead of something more substantive.


But maybe signing Lance Lynn or Alex Cobb to a four- or five-year deal isn’t the answer. And maybe Sanchez’s deal with the Tigers shows why. But the Twins’ deal with Sanchez doesn’t really feel like the proper counterbalance to that argument, you know?


Over the last three years, Sanchez has made 88 appearances (68 starts), and posted a 5.67 ERA. FIP is a bit more generous (5.01), but it hasn’t looked good. That’s over 400 innings, too — it’s not like we’re being hypnotized by a small sample size or even one really bad year ruining the other two.


He’s gotten progressively worse by ERA: 4.99, 5.87 and 6.41.


Looking for hope in Sanchez’s numbers begin and ends with his strikeout and walk rates, as he’s still fanned 8.2 batters per nine over this tough stretch — above his career rate of 8.0 — while walking just 2.8. But he’s allowed a WHIP of 1.43 — perilously high, and spells out his contact issues — and he’s allowed an MLB-worst 1.8 home runs per nine over that time frame.


Please click through to Zone Coverage to read the full story here.


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