After getting the chance to be briefly surprised at the Cubs and their shrewd pick-up of Anibal Sanchez, word started getting out that the pitcher and his agent were actually going to give the Tigers one final shot at signing the pitcher they traded for last summer. The Tigers pulled the trigger, and as a result Sanchez will stay on board for five years and $80 million, which is just $5 million more than what the Cubs had on the table. As he did during the 2012 season, Sanchez solidifies a starting rotation that has a chance to be a big plus for Detroit.
Sanchez spent his entire career with the Marlins before being dealt to the Tigers after Miami’s collapse last summer. His final line for 2012 includes a 3.86 ERA, 3.53 FIP, 3.60 xFIP, 7.68 K/9 rate and 2.21 BB/9 rate. Sanchez continued his trend of issuing fewer free passes, but his strikeout rate saw a drop of its own. Sanchez had a couple of rough outings after arriving in the American League, but he had settled down before the season wound to a close. Nonetheless, the 28-year-old hurler was worth 3.8 WAR per FanGraphs, a total that matched what he managed the year before.
We liked this signing for the Cubs, and we’re cool with it for the Tigers as well. The Tigers have an impressive nucleus of talent, and all of these guys are smack dab in the middle of their prime. There aren’t many teams that can boast a trio of performers like Miguel Cabrera, Justin Verlander, and Prince Fielder. Sanchez is a perfect fit to slide into the starting rotation and back up Verlander, and as we said in our Cubs piece, he also has room for improvement based on signs he’s shown over the past few seasons.
If you want to check out what I wrote when the news broke that Sanchez was headed to the Cubs, go ahead and click here.