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.
MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reports that the Dodgers plan to tab ace Clayton Kershaw for Game 1 of the World Series. Nothing is set in stone yet ahead of Tuesday’s Game 1 of the World Series. In the event Kershaw can’t start Game 1, Rich Hill would start. Otherwise, Hill would start Game 4.
Kershaw, started Game 1 and Game 5 of the NLCS against the Brewers, then closed out Game 7 with a flawless inning. He was hit around to the tune of five runs (four earned) over three-plus innings in Game 1, but rebounded for seven innings of one-run ball in Game 5. He struck out two en route to sending the Dodgers to the World Series in the ninth inning of Game 7.
Kershaw also tossed eight shutout innings against the Braves in Game 2 of the NLDS. Overall, he has a 2.37 ERA in 19 innings this postseason. There was no doubt who would be the Dodgers’ first choice to start Game 1, but it’s a relatively recent situation where the ace of a team also closed out the final game of the previous series.
Hill has put up a 2.61 ERA in 10 1/3 innings this postseason. While he doesn’t have Kershaw’s pedigree, the Dodgers would be confident having him lead off the series. Hill was excellent down the stretch last year, helping the Dodgers reach Game 7 of the World Series against the Astros.
The Red Sox plan to start Chris Sale in Game 1 now that he’s recovered from a brief stint in the hospital due to a stomach ailment. The lefty has a 3.48 in 10 1/3 innings in the playoffs this year. He’s among a handful of candidates for the AL Cy Young award after posting a 2.11 ERA in the regular season, but his lack of innings (158) may hurt him.