Rosenthal: the Dbacks will be “major players” for Tanaka

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Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal writes that The Diamondbacks “cannot be ruled out as major players” for Japanese right-hander Masahiro Tanaka.

The idea is that the Dbacks were already prepared to spend $140 million or more for Shin-Soo Choo and thus have that money available for other uses. Looking around the free agent market right now there aren’t a ton of other great uses of it and the Diamondbacks’ efforts to make a trade for a front line starter have gone nowhere.

Lots of teams have an interest in Tanaka, of course. Matching up that interest with a demonstrated need and, more importantly, a demonstrated willingness and ability to spend the money required is what matters. After reading Rosenthal’s piece, you get the feeling that maybe Arizona is a more serious player than others.

The Tigers decline Anibal Sanchez’s 2018 option

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From the “this does not surprise us in the very least” department, Tigers GM Al Avila announced today that the club is declining its $16 million option on right-hander Anibal Sanchez.

Sanchez had a terrible year in 2017, going 3-7 with a 6.41 ERA in 2017. That’s a long slide down from his 2013 season, in which he won the AL ERA title, going 14-8 and posting an ERA of 2.57 in the first year of his five-year, $80 million deal. Since then he’s gone 28-35 with a 5.15 ERA. He never started 30 games or more over the course of the contract.

The declination of the option does come with a nice parting gift for Sanchez: a $5 million buyout. Which is pretty dang high for a buyout, but that’s how the Tigers rolled three or four years ago.