Washington’s rotation had some question marks even before the Nationals dealt Tanner Roark to the Cincinnati Reds last week, but this afternoon they took a first step towards filling out the back of their starting staff, signing veteran starter Aníbal Sánchez to what reportedly is a 2-year/$19M deal with an option for a third year.
Sánchez, 34, is coming off a (7-6) campaign as part of the Atlanta Braves’ rotation which saw the right-hander put up a 2.83 ERA, a 3.62 FIP, 42 walks (2.77 BB/9), and 135 Ks (8.89 K/9) in 136 2⁄3 innings pitched overall, with a .211/.278/.359 line against in 133 2⁄3 IP as a starter.
Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press (MLB Network and Baseball America) was first with the reports of the deal and the terms that Sánchez, a 13-year veteran who’s previously been with Miami, Detroit, and Atlanta, has apparently agreed to with Washington.
The Nationals have agreed to a deal with right-hander Anibal Sanchez, I’m told.— Anthony Fenech (@anthonyfenech) December 20, 2018
Sanchez’s deal is for two years and $19 million plus incentives, I’m told.— Anthony Fenech (@anthonyfenech) December 20, 2018
Multiple writers have since confirmed the initial reports...
The Nationals indeed have a deal with veteran right-gander Aníbal Sanchez, per a source. @anthonyfenech says it’s 2 years for $19 million.— Mark Zuckerman (@MarkZuckerman) December 20, 2018
Sánchez made four appearances (and three starts) against the Nationals in 2018, holding Washington’s hitters to a combined .159/.243/.333 line in 18 IP, over which he had a 1.50 ERA, 21 walks, and 49 Ks, and he’s gone (10-1) with a 2.08 ERA in 26 games (25 starts) and 155 2⁄3 IP against the Nats in his career, with a .207/.291/.314 line against in those outings.
Sánchez had the eighth-lowest BABIP (.258) among National League starters with at least 130 IP in 2018, the ninth-lowest ERA, 14th-lowest FIP, and highest Soft Contact percentage (26.1%) among NL starters.
Anibal Sanchez, reportedly signing with the @Nationals, had the lowest 2018 hard-hit rate, 25.8% (min 200 batted balls) of any currently healthy pitcher. (Sorry, Brent Suter.) pic.twitter.com/QGiz5wG707— Mike Petriello (@mike_petriello) December 20, 2018
Most Ks on pitches < 70 mph, 2018— Andrew Simon (@AndrewSimonMLB) December 20, 2018
37 -- Zack Greinke
21 -- James Shields
15 -- Anibal Sanchez pic.twitter.com/yNveDZxh0T
Some more details of the deal below:
Anibal gets 19M for 2 years plus option, 4M incentives. Could reach 33M for 3 years #nats— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 20, 2018
So: Max Scherzer, Patrick Corbin, Stephen Strasburg, Aníbal Sánchez... and Erick Fedde or Joe Ross ... or will Mike Rizzo and Co. in the Nationals’ front office continue to add depth or options to the rotation?
What are you thoughts on the addition of Aníbal Sánchez to the mix in D.C.?