We’re only a few days into free agency, but we have already heard multiple reports of outrageous contract demands. Just to name some recent examples, Josh Hamilton reportedly wants $175 million while Michael Bourn is looking for $100 million and Jeremy Guthrie is seeking $34 million. Well, we can add a new name to the list.
According to Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com, free agent right-hander Anibal Sanchez is seeking a contract in the range of $90 million over six years. This would give him an AAV (average annual value) of $15 million, very close to C.J. Wilson’s $15.5 million AAV as part of his five-year, $77.5 million deal with the Angels last offseason.
Sanchez probably won’t get six years guaranteed or $90 million, but he should do very well as one of the top pitchers available in free agency. While injuries were a factor early in his career, the 28-year-old right-hander has quietly logged at least 195 innings over the past three seasons while posting a 3.70 ERA. He also improved his stock after finishing strong following his trade to the Tigers this July, proving that he can be successful in the American League.
Morosi is hearing that the Tigers, Red Sox, Blue Jays, Rangers and Dodgers are among the teams who have expressed interest in Sanchez so far. The competition should be good news for his asking price and it only takes one team to throw things out of whack, but a deal similar to Wilson’s sounds more reasonable.
CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury reports that Phillies outfielder Nick Williams has been working out daily with free agent starter Jake Arrieta in Austin. The right-hander, who won the 2015 National League Cy Young Award, still remains teamless with spring training less than a month away. Williams has been trying to sell Arrieta on joining the Phillies.
Williams said of Arrieta, “He loves it here [Austin]. He has told me he likes working with young guys. I’m like, ‘All right, come on up.’ But I’m not writing the check. I don’t know what he wants. I don’t really dig into that because I’m not really in his position.”
On GM Matt Klentak’s hunt for pitching help, new manager Gabe Kapler said, “The pursuit is very real. I have a lot of trust that we’ll either go in [to spring training] with a new toy or we will pass on the opportunity because we’re better off giving this collection of pitchers a really healthy look because we thought that we could go acquire that piece a little bit later on this season or in the offseason next year.”
Arrieta, who turns 32 years old in March, went 14-10 with a 3.53 ERA and a 163/55 K/BB ratio in 168 1/3 innings last season with the Cubs. The Cubs, Cardinals, and Brewers have been linked to Arrieta this month.
Presently, the Phillies’ starting rotation figures to include Aaron Nola, Jerad Eickhoff, and Vince Velasquez along with some combination of Nick Pivetta, Ben Lively, Zach Eflin, Mark Leiter, and Jake Thompson. Arrieta would certainly amount to a big upgrade in the starting rotation and could make the Phillies a more attractive landing spot for Bryce Harper or Manny Machado, who become free agents after the 2018 campaign. The Phillies are expected to be in the mix for either or both players.