8:19pm: Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer-Press has some further details on how the contract works. Essentially, it’s structured like a non-guaranteed arbitration deal. Sanchez would receive about $410K if cut loose on or before the 16th day of camp or around $615K if he makes it past the first date but is then released before March 29th.
4:31pm: The Twins have reportedly reached agreement on a split MLB contract with veteran righty Anibal Sanchez. He can earn $2.5MM if he makes the roster out of camp but is guaranteed only $500K in the deal, which also includes up to $2.5MM in incentives.
Soon to turn 34, Sanchez is coming off of a dreadful three-year run with the Tigers. He produced in the first two seasons after signing with Detroit, but has limped to a 5.67 ERA in the 415 2/3 innings since the start of 2015.
Given the struggles, it came as no surprise when the Tigers paid Sanchez a $5MM buyout rather than picking up his 2018 option at a $16MM price tag. At that time, it seemed questionable at best whether the veteran would even merit a major league contract. After all, despite Sanchez’s excellent track record — he carried a 3.53 ERA through his first 1,177 MLB innings — it has been some time since he has been consistently effective.
In particular, the long ball has become a persistent problem. Compared with his better, prior campaigns, Sanchez has both allowed more flyballs and given up more dingers on the balls that have gone skyward off of opponents’ bats. The issues reached an apex in 2017, wen he coughed up 2.22 HR/9 on a 19.3% HR/FB rate. Sanchez also permitted hard contact at a career-high 37.4% rate.
On the positive side, Sanchez has continued to post solid strikeout and walk numbers. He maintained a typical 9.8% swinging-strike rate in 2017 and finished with 8.9 K/9 against 2.5 BB/9. Those levels hardly stand out in this age of whiffs, but do suggest he could be effective if he can regain control over the batted-ball outcomes.
Sanchez was tagged for a .354 BABIP. While the volume of hard contact suggests that may have been deserved to an extent, Statcast numbers suggest there was some poor fortune. The veteran permitted a .386 wOBA but carried a .332 xwOBA, making for a rather massive spread.
Given the nature of the contract, Sanchez is hardly guaranteed a rotation spot. And though the addition changes the depth picture, it doesn’t seem that it’ll prevent the organization from pursuing a more significant starter, Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN notes on Twitter.
Jon Heyman of Fan Rag reported the agreement (Twitter links). Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN first noted the connection on Twitter and added additional details on Twitter. MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger reported that the deal was not guaranteed (via Twitter).
Solid deal. Adds depth… Low risk high reward
minor league deal is the only way this is an okay move
Or…the salary isn’t guaranteed! Still low risk!
A bit shocked he got guaranteed $.
yeah I really would have expected a minor league deal
He has a 5.50 ERA over the past 3 seasons… How does he even get a major league deal?
Ah, ok, he is only guaranteed $500 K. That’s different from the first report. I still think they could have found a better pitcher on this kind of deal though (Cahill, Volquez, and maybe Tillman, Hellickson…)
Volquez signed already,
As of yesterady, yes. But since he is still paid by the Marlins this season he could have been signed for less (and I still rate him higher than sanchez)
Good low cost move by Minnesota with a potential good reward
no it’s not
Low risk. He obviously has to pitch his way to the 25 man. Not a fan of this guy but depth is needed
Its been more than enough time to know that he’s done being good.
He’s been absolutely terrible the last 3 seasons. Not sure I understand this signing.
Hope there’s more in the works….guy hasn’t don’t anything for years. $2.5 is a pretty high guarantee for the track record.
He’s done plenty, just none of it good. Averaging almost 2 HR/9 IP over the past 3 years. Really shocked he got an MLB deal.
I’m not trying to defend it but maybe the Twins think his .354 babip and high fly ball rates might play up better in front of their OF rather than the Tigers? He strikes guys out and doesn’t walk that many …
I dunno. It’s depth.
Considering the twins have probably the best defensive out field in baseball this move makes some sense.
Big old yawn. Come on!
What on earth?
What ever happened to the promise of signing a top free agent pitcher? Lynn, Cobb and Arrieta are still out there. Sanchez has not been that good.
Lynn and Cobb are not elite
Arrieta not so much anymore and probably wanted more money
They went after yu and lost
You got to think how much money they have to spend
Arrieta is better than anyone on their roster.
He is today, but he’s looking for 5 years
I’d take Berrios over Arrieta any day!
They have plenty to spend. Just won’t spend it foolishly just for the sake.
And that’s perfectly fine, but signing Anibal Sanchez to 2,5 million is foolish. There is no suggested upside, there isn’t low risk because he’ll probably make team out of camp. Twins should be signing Jaime Garcia, tyler chatwood, brett anderson types. Those are actually pitchers with upside that won’t break the bank and twins desperately need multiple starters
Yeah, screw this dumpster diving team. This is their MO. Tell the fans they’re going for the gold and walk away with someone like Sanchez.
It truly is a stupid signing.
Just because they signed Sanchez doesn’t mean that they can’t sign Arrieta, Lynn or Cobb. It’s a low risk move. You can never have too much pitching.
No need to play the season out. The ring belongs to the Twins now
Gross….. to a major league deal? Huh???
Best wishes to Anibal. Was my favorite pitcher to watch when he was “on”. I remember watching his 17 K game in amazement.
That was a great fantasy baseball day for me! I think that happened in his last effective season.
I was at that game v the Braves, and he was as dominant as anyone I’d ever seen that night…showed some flashes after the AS break last season, who knows how it goes??
I hope they aren’t done finding an ace pitcher
They need 3 new major league starters, they have gotten 0 in the offseason
I’m shocked he got a major league deal
Now This is a Twins kinda move!! I am getting worried the dumpster is pretty picked over….
How did he get a MLB deal??
dynamite drop in monty
Its the T’ins
There is absolutely no way he can give up that many HRs at target field. I guess that’s what they’re banking on but you have to wonder who they were bidding against to pay this much.
Tiger Stadium is much bigger than Target Field. HR numbers can only go up, especially for a fly ball pitcher.
Twins snatched him away from the Brewers.
Look out for those Twinkies and the Brew Crew, their pitching staffs are total shutdown.
I wouldn’t even sign him to a minor league deal, probably could find better 5th starter fringe guys than him
Complete joke of a team
Yeah they don’t rack up to your job
that seems like a relevant reply
Yeah because a 6.4 era in 2017 is something to be excited about you troll
You’re pretty tough on your phone
I think the moral of my comment was I would gladly trade this terrible major leaguer places
Because that’s what I said at all obviously anyone with a normal job would, just sick of this dumpster diving team that won’t invest in a solid rotation piece
Someone correct me if I’m wrong but watch the twins him the wildcard game last year?
Not sure what that was supposed to say..
Glad to see Terry Ryan is back at the reins of the Twins front office!
Phillies stole him from the Twins. Andy MacPhail worked for the Twins too. All Orioles and any Twins old timers Andy knows pulling down fat checks from the Phillies.
Only the Twins would do this to their fan base! Make claims that Shohei Ohtani is a priority , make claims Darvish is a priority, then go and sign terrible Anibal Sanchez, I don’t know how much longer I can put up with this team, Falvey and Levine are a complete joke!
It’s a non-guaranteed split deal. The 40-man spot will probably be opened by putting Trevor May on the 60-day DL.
What’s the point of adding Sanchez the Twins are full of potential 5th man starters, he is an absolute waste of a 40 man roster spot, typical twins signing , they will never change as long as the Pohlads own the team
I guess if he kills it he sticks around but likely he’ll be gone by sometime in May? lol
Non-guaranteed deal dude. If he kills it in spring, then you give him a chance. If he’s a dud then you just outright off the 40 man. No risk involved. It’s frustrating not making bigger moves, but you need to make depth moves too.
6.4 era In 2017, pretty sure anyone in our system can put up those numbers
Last years numbers dont count this year.
I’m okay with it being as it’s not guaranteed.. but if they are done and this is all they do for the rotation they will be lucky to even see last years win total
MLB is really out of tune with salaries. $2.5M for a player to make the 40 man roster. Its indescribable how stupid these salaries are.
I hope he makes the team…..so the Tribe can continue to pound him several times a season.
Of all the names I did not see this one coming. Thought a Tillman signing maybe but definitely not a MLB deal for Sanchez. It’s not guaranteed so I guess it’s just a show me in spring kind of deal. No risk, I guess see what he’s got left. Let’s sink Lynn or Cobb though if they will accept a 3 year deal with an option. That would make the fans feel a bit more optimistic I would think.
This is obviously a depth move. Quit panicking people. Sanchez is NOT their answer to the rotation. It’s a split deal. He has to prove himself, he’s not guaranteed a spot on the big league club. These kinds of moves are made every year by every club, pitching strapped or pitching rich. Which would you rather have? This clown on a cheap deal with minimal guaranteed with a potential for a 4-5 era or blow your wad on Arrietta the clown for the potential same outcome? No reason to spend money and sign a guy that’s listed at the top of some rating chart just to “get” somebody. We’ve all seen how well that works out, hence the slow offseason
What’s Mike Pelfrey up to, twins can give him a deal too! 😉
Honestly the only way to defend this move is simply by brand name. There is no upside with this signing, complete waste
since today’s game is noted for striking out or hitting home runs, his stats are about normal.
Outside of sano & dozier what other proven hitters do twins have. Sano susp. for at least a month, An old overachieving Santana out to injury. Unless they trade for a stud pitcher i.e. Archer & add Cobb or Lynn they have no shot. Probably have a worse record than my White Sox. Berrios serious talent still unproven though. Lotta respect for Twins but unless they pound the heck outta Sox, Royals & Tigers n Cleveland scuffles in division games for some reason. 82-80 in 2018
I saw the accusation on Sano. I havent seen anything since. Has there been any news? I dont see an accusation causing a suspension.
The league is still investigating/doing interviews. Twins wanted it done before pitchers and catchers, which didn’t happen.
Best case scenario is they find out by the end of February but from twitter updates I saw, it’s expected to be another month at least.
“Proven” hitters I’d say Dozier, Sano and Mauer (if Mauer hits like last year).
Buxton is 24 and has more upside left. Kepler is 25 and has more upside left (most of which needs to come against lefties, which he did hit against in the minors). Polanco is 24 and has more upside.
Rosario is 26. Unsure about him. 2017 is probably the best he can do because he swings at everything. Though I remember him being on a list of most improved for something. It was either plate discipline or launch angle. Haven’t been able to find the article since.
I recently saw a chart comparing the Cubs offense to the Twins offense and they were very close to each other in a runs per game for the first half and again in the second half. The Twins having a top 10 offense in all of baseball (7th in runs scored in 2017) really isn’t that surprising to me. Now if Only they could pitch..
His best days are gone good luck with him he was either very good or bad he would strike out 12 and give up 7 runs
A step in the right direction for the twins but still looking for a bigger name
Honestly shocked Neil Huntington didn’t fall head over heels for this guy and offer him 5M glad Minnesota beat him to the punch.
Sanchez made a big mistake by not committing to the relief opportunities that the Tigers gave him last year. From what I understand, he wouldn’t accept making the adjustment. He should have embraced that role because the current trend is to overpay and over commit to relief pieces.
Not to mention the fact that as a starter he is not very good
I would say it’s a low risk signing but looking at twins roster and track record of starters there maybe a chance he makes the team out of camp that would be a disaster. Many more interesting starting pitchers available that won’t cost a lot. This just seems like a waste of a opportunity to look for true cheap upside signings
Whenever a team signs a very poor performer. They always make it sound good by saying the words “hey, at least we got some depth”…….. Your depth is as good as the quality in that position. Depth shouldn’t be just a body that can throw the ball or pick up a bat.
It is an dice roll hoping that a change of scenery will breathe some sort of new life into this guy, but if he is the same dud he won’t make the major league roster and the twins will only owe him 500,000 which is nothing. If it works and he can hold down the back end of the rotation or a reliever spot he would likely be worth the low investment. Consider that Kyle Gibson is owed $4.2m they don’t value Sanchez above that number unless he overachieves which would mean the gamble has paid off.
Lot of opinions about a organizational depth signing here but let’s not pretend like this was their answer to the rotation after after missing out on Yu Darvish. They are still working on some rotation upgrades but they aren’t going to do anything crazy that saddles them with a hefty contract beyond a players most effective years. I would expect a smart trade on the horizon that gives them a solid rotation piece without a long term commitment.
as a tiger fans we know anibal well…40 million ways…maybe the twins should bring Nathan out of retirement too? really bolster the troops with dead arms.
Didn’t even know he was a free agent. He had a promising career. After Miami traded him he was pretty much all down hill. I hope he succeeds. The last week in June I hope he is scheduled to face to the cubs at Wrigley and they crush him for like 8ER and like a total of 13 or 14 runs in a rout win vs Minnesota
Once upon a time, upon waking one morning, Sanchez was kissed by a princess and magically became the best pitcher in the game. Next sunrise, he reverted back to a frog and has remained so, ever since.
Best of luck with that comeback. Ribbit.