The Twins have agreed to a one-year, $2.5 million contract with free agent right-hander Anibal Sanchez, per a report from FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. The deal includes another potential $2.5 million in incentives, though the official agreement is still pending a physical and has yet to be confirmed by the team. MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger adds that the money is not guaranteed, but will depend on Sanchez keeping his roster spot out of camp.
Sanchez, 33, received a $5 million buyout from the Tigers earlier this winter after they declined his $16 million club option for 2018. While his stock has steadily plummeted since his Cy Young-contending season in 2013, he managed a respectable 2.5 BB/9 and 8.9 SO/9 in 105 1/3 innings for the club last year, albeit with a 3-7 record, 6.41 ERA, and a nagging hamstring strain as well.
The veteran righty may not be the flashy no. 2 starter the Twins were hoping to net this offseason, but he fills a need as Ervin Santana recovers from hand surgery and club manager Paul Molitor looks to bolster a four-man rotation as Opening Day draws near.
Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that Major League Baseball has banned all transactions with Liga Mexicana de Beisbol (LMB), popularly known as the Mexican League. As of now, all 30 teams are prohibited from signing players under contract with LMB teams. The ban was issued due to Major League Baseball’s contention that “corruption” and “fraud” run rampant in the player acquisition process.
Passan describes the issues in detail, and they sound pretty compelling. The upshot: LMB clubs — which have full control over their players — are taking advantage of them, taking most if not all of the signing bonuses MLB teams give them after negotiating for their rights. Mexican teams often sign players when they’re 15 years-old so that, once they are old enough for American teams to approach them, they’re in the position to take a usurious cut.
Passan says Major League Baseball is demanding greater transparency from LMB before it’s willing to lift the ban. He also says that the MLBPA is in “lockstep” with Major League Baseball on the matter, which makes sense given that, if MLB’s claims are accurate, players are being exploited here. He also says that if LMB does not change its ways, there is a “Plan B,” though it’s not clear what that is.
There aren’t a ton of Mexican players signed by MLB teams each year, but there are enough to make this a significant issue that is worth watching.