Make that two signings within about two hours for the Washington Nationals.
We’re torn between wanting them to slow down so we can keep up, and wanting them to keep coming to keep us busy after months of inactivity thanks to the lockout.
This time it’s Aníbal Sánchez, who has reportedly agreed to reunite with the Nationals on a minor-league deal with an invite to Spring Training, per by MLB Network’s Jon Heyman and The Washington Post’s Jesse Dougherty.
Nationals and Aníbal Sánchez— Jesse Dougherty (@dougherty_jesse) March 13, 2022
are indeed in agreement on a minor league deal with an invite to camp. Talks heated up after they saw him throw in Miami yesterday. @JonHeyman had the sides fully coming together.
Sánchez was a key part of the team’s rotation in 2019 on their run to the World Series title.
In 30 starts, the right-hander sported a solid 3.85 ERA, and he was particularly impressive down the stretch and into the postseason, most notably taking a no-hitter into the eighth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals in the NLCS.
However, in 2020, the last year Sánchez pitched in the majors, he posted an awful 6.62 ERA and 1.66 WHIP in 11 starts as he couldn’t quite recapture that same 2019 form on the mound.
On Friday, Sánchez was part of a three-man showcase at Florida International University, which the Nationals attended, along with fellow veteran pitchers Erasmo Ramírez and Julio Teherán.
Evidently, the Washington brass at the showcase was impressed enough to offer their former right-hander a contract, albeit only a minor-league one, which will see him at least act as some rotation depth this spring, with a chance to earn a full-time spot if he does well.
That depth might be even more important with the news on Sunday that Joe Ross looks set to miss the start of the season, leaving the Nationals a bit shorthanded in their rotation.
Stephen Strasburg, Patrick Corbin, and Josiah Gray appear to be the only locks for the rotation this season, leaving the final two spots firmly up for grabs in West Palm Beach.
Sánchez will get a shot to be in one of those final two spots in his reunion with the team — and he also reunites with Gerardo Parra, who is also in camp on a minor league contract, with the two of them frequently noted as key veteran presences during the 2019 run.
The Nationals aren’t quite getting the band back together, but with Sánchez and Parra back, maybe things are getting a little nostalgic again...