The Nationals announced this morning they’ve selected righty Aníbal Sánchez onto the big league roster. The Nats already had a 40-man roster spot available, so no move was necessary in that regard.
Sánchez returns to the nation’s capital, where he spent the 2019-20 campaigns. The veteran hurler had a productive first season in Washington, pitching to a 3.85 ERA over 166 regular season innings. He started a game in each of the Division Series, Championship Series and World Series during the Nats’ World Series run that year. Washington won all three of those games, with Sánchez contributing 18 innings of five-run ball during that stretch.
The second season of Sánchez’s tenure wasn’t as productive, either from a personal or team standpoint. He made 11 starts during the shortened schedule but only managed a 6.62 ERA. Washington fell to the bottom of the NL East, and the Venezuela native hit free agency at the end of the year. Sánchez didn’t wind up playing in affiliated ball last year. He was reportedly concerned by the pandemic protocols early in the season, then didn’t find an offer to his liking during the year.
The 38-year-old never suggested he was planning to step away from the game entirely, though. He inked a minor league deal to rejoin the Nationals this winter, and he’ll now lock in a $2MM base salary by making the Opening Day roster. Presumably, he’ll step right back into a rotation that’ll be without Stephen Strasburg and Joe Ross to open the year. Patrick Corbin, Erick Fedde, Josiah Gray, Josh Rogers and Paolo Espino are among the rotation options for skipper Dave Martinez.