Anibal Sanchez Rumors

Quick Hits: Eppler, Anibal, Wilson, Kennedy

Angels owner Arte Moreno and president John Carpino were scheduled to meet with Yankees assistant GM Billy Eppler tonight in New York, George A. King III of the New York Post reports.  This is the latest indication that Eppler could be the favorite to become the Angels’ new general manager, though the Mariners are reportedly also interested in talking to him about their open GM position.  Here’s more from around baseball…

  • Anibal Sanchez told reporters (including’s Chris Iott) that he’ll see a doctor about his shoulder issue, possibly Dr. James Andrews.  The righty was scheduled to return from the DL and start for the Tigers on Wednesday, but those plans have now been scrapped.  Sanchez has had a rocky season, posting a 4.99 ERA, 7.9 K/9 and 2.82 K/BB rate over 157 innings and he hasn’t pitched since August 18 due to a rotator cuff strain in his throwing arm.
  • In his latest subscriber-only piece, ESPN’s Buster Olney discusses some looming offseason decisions involving qualifying offers and team/player options with agents and talent evaluators.  Some of the choices are pretty easy (i.e. the Blue Jays will surely pick up club options on Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion for 2016) while others are trickier.  For instance, evaluators would be wary about their teams surrendering a draft pick to sign Ian Kennedy.  If the qualifying offer would hurt Kennedy’s market to this extent, he could consider accepting the Padres‘ QO, leaving San Diego with roughly $81MM tied up in five players (Kennedy, Melvin Upton Jr., Craig Kimbrel, Matt Kemp, James Shields).
  • Brian Wilson is aiming to return to the majors in 2016 and will soon begin throwing, Yahoo Sports’ Tim Brown tweets.  The Dodgers released Wilson last December and sat out the 2015 season after not catching on with any other teams.  The former Giants closer missed most of 2012 and 2013 while recovering from his second Tommy John surgery, and he posted a 4.66 ERA, 10.1 K/9 and a 1.86 K/BB rate over 48 1/3 IP with L.A. last season.
  • Rich Hill recently threw seven shutout innings for the Red Sox in his first Major League start since 2009, and now the southpaw is considering pitching in winter ball in the hopes of landing a job in an MLB rotation next year,’s Rob Bradford writes.  If a Major League job can’t be found, Hill is already drawing interest from several Japanese teams.

Cafardo On Lester, Cespedes, Porcello, Miller

In today’s column, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe writes that some in the Red Sox organization see Xander Bogaerts as a young Hanley Ramirez.  “They are both fun-loving kids who love playing the game,” Red Sox first base/outfield coach Arnie Beyeler said. “I didn’t see Hanley after the Dominican League, but I remember him as a kid who once he got his chance just did things better than everyone else. He ran better, threw better, hit better. It was easy to see that he was going to develop into a very good baseball player. And you see the same things with Xander.”  More from today’s column..

  • Major league sources tell Cafardo that the Cubs are very serious about Jon Lester while the Giants are becoming more serious about him.  Meanwhile, the Yankees are thinking about getting serious about Lester but haven’t committed to doing so.  The Red Sox remain interested but it remains to be seen how far they’ll go.
  • If the Red Sox sign Jon Lester, Cafardo can see them moving Yoenis Cespedes for a No. 2 or No. 3 starter such as Reds hurlers Mat Latos or Mike Leake.  The Reds would have a need for Cespedes’s bat, but they would also probably have a need for shortstop Deven Marrero.  Meanwhile, Johnny Cueto would cost Cespedes and maybe two top prospects, but it would be tempting for Boston.
  • The Tigers could also be a match in a Cespedes deal.  If those talks were to take place, the Red Sox would have more interest in Rick Porcello than Anibal Sanchez.  David Price could be a possibility if the Red Sox whiff on Lester, but that would be costly.
  • It’s strange to some that the Yankees haven’t re-signed closer David Robertson by now.  One rival AL East GM wonders if the Yankees might change direction and go after someone like Andrew Miller, a power lefty, to go along with Dellin Betances.
  • It’s hard to tell whether the Nationals are serious about trading Jordan Zimmermann because they have the resources to sign him and he’s their best pitcher. “It doesn’t hurt to listen,” said one NL executive about GM Mike Rizzo’s strategy. “If you get overwhelmed, you do it. If you don’t, you keep him. Pretty simple, actually.”  Cafardo writes that the Red Sox, Rangers, and Cubs seem to have the pieces to get a deal done.
  • There are teams interested in Red Sox right-hander Clay Buchholz.  “There’s a lot of talent there that hasn’t come out,” one NL scout said.

Twins Notes: Podsednik, Sweeney, Parra, Bartlett

Despite indications to the contrary, the Twins never called to inquire about the availability of pitcher Anibal Sanchez, according to Darren Wolfson of ESPN 1500.  Sanchez, of course, re-signed with the Tigers for five years and $80MM earlier this offseason.  Here's more out of Minnesota, courtesy of Wolfson..

  • The Twins still have interest in free agent outfielder Scott Podsednik, but they're not looking to sign free agent outfielder Ryan Sweeney.  We recently learned that the Mets aren't among the teams in on Podsednik.  The club had brief talks with Sweeney's representatives earlier in the winter.
  • Minnesota had interest in signing free agent starter Freddy Garcia in December but they haven't checked in on him since.  The Twins have also cut off contact with free agent pitcher Manny Parra.  The Twins, along with the Reds and Rockies, were said to be interested in Garcia late last year.
  • The Twins have not inquired about free agent shortstop Jason Bartlett, nor free agent second baseman Kelly Johnson.
  • The Twins never made an offer to shortstop Cesar Izturis, who signed a minor league deal with the Reds on Wednesday.  General Manager Terry Ryan & Co. never had an interest in free agent starter Aaron Cook before he signed with the Phillies either.  
  • Minnesota could have free agent starter Armando Galarraga on a minor league deal but aren't interested in him.  The right-hander hooked on with the Astros on a minor league contract last year after being cut by the Orioles.

Rick Porcello Drawing Trade Interest

THURSDAY: The Orioles and Mariners are among the teams involved in talks about Porcello, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports reports (on Twitter).

FRIDAY: The Pirates and Padres are interested in Porcello, Jim Bowden of and MLB Network Radio reports (on Twitter).

TUESDAY: Quite a few National League teams asked about Tigers right-hander Rick Porcello at last week’s Winter Meetings, Danny Knobler of reports. However, the Tigers need Porcello at this point, so he’s not available.

If the Tigers re-sign Anibal Sanchez, they’d have an abundance of starters and could move Porcello. Detroit’s front office executives hope to sign Sanchez, but they were told that their early offers weren’t close to being enough, according to Knobler. It appears that the free agent right-hander seeks more money than the Tigers are willing to offer. The Tigers pursued a trade for James Shields, but they haven’t pursued free agent starters other than Sanchez, Knobler writes.

Porcello, 23, posted a 4.59 ERA with 5.5 K/9, 2.2 BB/9 and a 53.2% ground ball rate in 176 1/3 innings this past season. He earned $3.1MM in 2012 and has a projected salary of $4.7MM for 2013. He’s under team control through 2015 and could be a fit for the Rockies, Padres or Pirates in my view.

Heyman & Knobler On Hanrahan, Rangers, Bourn

The latest from Jon Heyman and Danny Knobler of…

Mike Axisa contributed to this post.

Cubs Notes: Sanchez, Marmol, Samardzija, Garza

The Cubs are going down to the wire with another top free agent pitcher, as we heard earlier today that Chicago and the Rangers are the final two suitors in the Edwin Jackson sweepstakes.  Here are some more items from Wrigley Field…

  • The Cubs didn't feel they "were on the cusp" of signing Anibal Sanchez, tweets ESPN's Buster Olney, but rather just one of the teams in the mix to top the Tigers.  I'd guess that Detroit was Sanchez's ideal destination all along, given how Sanchez apparently gave the Tigers the final chance to top the Cubs' $77MM proposal and left a larger offer from another team on the table at the Winter Meetings.
  • "Carlos Marmol going for a small package of prospects" is the deal that ESPN's Bruce Levine feels is the likeliest trade the Cubs will make before Opening Day.  The Cubs will probably have to include a large chunk of Marmol's remaining $9.8MM salary in such a swap given how Marmol is coming off a tough 2012 season that saw him lose his closer's job.  Chicago nearly dealt Marmol to the Angels for Dan Haren earlier this winter but that trade fell through due to concerns about Haren's health.  Levine also covers a number of other Cubs- and White Sox-related topics in his all-Chicago chat.
  • Patrick Mooney of CSN Chicago wonders if the Cubs will look to extend both Jeff Samardzija and Matt Garza this offseason.  We've heard the Cubs have reached out to Samardzija about an extension though Mooney thinks "there's no rush" given how Samardzija is controlled through 2015 and is a local product.  Garza is entering the last year of his current contract and has been the subject of many trade rumors over the last two seasons.

Quick Hits: Mets, Anibal, Brewers, Bourjos

MLBTR’s Ben Nicholson-Smith and Jason Martinez of MLB Depth Charts discussed the R.A. Dickey trade, the Josh Hamilton signing, the Anibal Sanchez deal and the latest rumors on todays’ edition of the Rosters & Rumblings podcast. Click here to listen in, and continue reading for the latest from around the league…

  • The Mets are closing in on adding an outfielder, according to Mike Puma of the New York Post. Puma's source tells him that the player hasn't previously been linked to the Mets (Twitter links). Puma doesn't specify if the acquisition would come via free agency or trade. New York has previously been linked to Cody Ross, which seems to rule him out.
  • Sanchez's agent, Gene Mato, told Anthony Fetch of the Detroit Free Press that Sanchez left a larger offer from an unnamed team on the table at the Winter Meetings. The right-hander didn't want to make his decision based solely on money but also on where he felt comfortable.
  • Brewers general manager Doug Melvin told Jim Bowden of MLB Network Radio on Sirius XM that his team is interested in Jon Rauch, Jason Frasor, Kyle Farnsworth and Mike Gonzalez (Twitter link).
  • Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald tweets that the Marlins aren't particularly interested in Peter Bourjos because they'd prefer a better hitting outfielder. Earlier today it was reported that the Fish may be interested in Bourjos.
  • Some teams aren't convinced that Hiroyuki Nakajima's glove is good enough to play shortstop at the Major League level, tweets Buster Olney of ESPN. The Japanese slugger signed with the Athletics earlier today.
  • Former Cubs coach Pat Listach has been hired by the Dodgers as the team's new minor league infield coordinator, according to Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune (on Twitter).

Tigers To Sign Anibal Sanchez

The Tigers announced that they have agreed to sign free agent right-hander Anibal Sanchez to a five-year contract that includes a 2018 club option. The deal is valued at $80MM according to, Bob Nightengale of USA Today, who first reported the deal (on Twitter).

“Anibal pitched tremendously for us down the stretch and during the post-season,” Tigers president and GM Dave Dombrowski said. “He strengthens our starting rotation and we are pleased to have him back with the Tigers organization.” 

Anibal Sanchez - Tigers (PW)

Agent Gene Mato represents Sanchez, who agrees to terms with Detroit after coming close to a deal with the Cubs. Cubs ownership and Theo Epstein offered Sanchez a $77MM contract in Miami last week, but the Tigers jumped in and won the bidding, Nightengale reports (on Twitter). The Red Sox also talked to Sanchez, but didn't go as high as $80MM, Jon Heyman of reports (on Twitter).

Acquired from Miami in a midseason trade, Sanchez struggled upon arriving in Detroit but pitched well in September and in the postseason. The five-year preserves the Tigers' formidable rotation. Led by Justin Verlander, the group also includes Max Scherzer, Doug Fister, Rick Porcello and Drew Smyly. It's possible Porcello will become a trade candidate once the Tigers complete their deal with Sanchez; the 23-year-old has already drawn interest from a number of National League teams.

Sanchez posted a 3.86 ERA with 7.7 K/9, 2.2 BB/9 and a 46.4% ground ball rate in 195 2/3 regular season innings this past season. The 28-year-old also started three playoff games for Detroit, posting a 1.77 ERA in 20 1/3 postseason innings. His average fastball checks in just shy of 92 mph and he generates swings and misses on approximately one in ten offerings, according to FanGraphs.

The Red Sox signed Sanchez as an amateur free agent out of Venezuela in 2001 then, four years later, they traded him and Hanley Ramirez to the Marlins in the deal that sent Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell to Boston. The Tigers acquired Sanchez and Omar Infante from Miami in a trade this past July.

MLBTR's Tim Dierkes ranked Sanchez fourth among free agents, and second among pitchers behind only Zack Greinke. Sanchez would not have been linked to draft pick compensation if he had signed elsewhere, since he was traded midseason.

As MLBTR's Transaction Tracker shows, Sanchez's deal exceeds C.J. Wilson's five-year, $77.5MM contract and falls just shy of the five-year, $82.5MM contracts signed by John Lackey and A.J. Burnett.

Edwin JacksonKyle Lohse and Shaun Marcum are among the top remaining free agent starters, as MLBTR's Free Agent Tracker shows.

Photo courtesy of US Presswire.

Quick Hits: Clemens, Tigers, Soriano, Mets, Dodgers

Agent Randy Hendricks dismissed the possibility of Roger Clemens pitching in the Mexican League, reports ESPN's Jerry Crasnick (all Twitter links). "He is not going to Mexico no matter how many articles they run for publicity,'' said Hendricks, who also said Clemens only signed with the Sugarland Skeeters this summer so he could play with his son Koby close to home. Here's the latest from around the league as Saturday turns into Sunday…

  • People with the Tigers are still "fairly certain" owner Mike Ilitch won't be talked into signing Rafael Soriano, reports Danny Knobler of (on Twitter). He mentions that Ilitch was the driving force behind the Anibal Sanchez deal.
  • The Mets do not figure to get outfield help in a potential R.A. Dickey trade, and Joel Sherman of The New York Post says (on Twitter) the team will just patch things up with cheap free agents or trades.
  • Sherman notes that the impending Dickey trade and the James Shields trade show that the cost for high-end pitching is very steep (Twitter links). The Zack Greinke deal shows how steep the price can be in free agency.
  • Bill Shaikin of The Los Angeles Times has a breakdown of the $2+ billion Guggenheim Baseball Management paid for the Dodgers. Magic Johnson kicked in $50MM while three others contributed $100MM apiece.

Heyman On Hamilton, Sanchez, Tigers

The latest from Jon Heyman of (Twitter links)…