Wow. Wow. Wow!!!
I was just catching up and corresponding with some friends (including Tom and Fels) and came to the blog to find out that Bob Nightengale tweeted that the Cubs will sign Anibal Sanchez to a 5 year/$75M contract. But I'm going to pause for a second because Nightengale has burned me before.
Ken Rosenthal was the first to say that the Cub were getting close.
So, just in case this really does go through, here are my thoughts...
I'm a huge fan of Sanchez, as you probably know from previous posts. At the beginning of last season i thought he was the biggest potential bargain among SPs on the FA market.
That changed through the course of the year as Sanchez made a name for himself with his impressive performance down the stretch and in the playoffs. I didn't think the Cubs would pursue him because he no longer fit under that bargain category. That pat was true. At 5 years/$75M, he is not really a bargain. That's pretty much what he's worth.
But that's not to say it's not a good signing and I'm thrilled that he's a Cub.
Sanchez, 28, fits the profile in that he's in his peak years and has the kind of numbers that indicate good future performance. He throws strikes (2.21 walk/9IP) , misses bats (7.68 Ks/9 IP, and keeps the ball in the park. He also had a solid 46.4% GB rate last season. Those qualities lead to consistently good FIPs. In fact, he ranks 18th in baseball over the past 3 years in that category. He's 16th in WAR in that same time frame.
On the mound, Sanchez is a change-up specialist with enough velocity on his 2 seam fastball (91-94 mph) to make a big velocity differential (13-14 mph) and keep hitters consistently off balance. He also has a 3rd plus pitch, a hard, mid 80s slider.
His results haven't been as great as his peripherals in part because of the teams he has played with. Detroit and Miami aren't exactly known for their IF defense, but the Cubs have average to above average defenders across the board. Sanchez should benefit greatly with Stewart/Valbuena, Castro, Barney, and Rizzo behind him.
As of now, the Cub rotation looks pretty good. The Cubs have 6 solid starters once Scott Baker is ready. The top 4 is potentially one of the best we've seen in Chicago in years.
- Anibal Sanchez
- Matt Garza
- Jeff Samardzija
- Scott Baker
- Scott Feldman
- Travis Wood
This could lead to other moves, such as the trading of Matt Garza, but for now, I'm going to kick back and enjoy this.
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