The Twins have released right-hander Anibal Sanchez, according to a report from Phil Miller of the Star Tribune. The move is intended to clear roster space for Lance Lynn, who was acquired on a one-year, $12 million deal on Saturday. Sanchez signed with the club on a one-year, $2.5 million deal of his own last month, but the contract was not fully guaranteed. He’ll receive $417,000 after spending three weeks in camp with the Twins.
Sanchez, 34, was on the cusp of his first season with the team after finishing up a six-year campaign with the Tigers. In 2017, he produced his worst numbers during that span, going 3-7 in 17 starts and turning in a 6.41 ERA, 2.5 BB/9 and 8.9 SO/9 in 105 1/3 innings. It came as little surprise when the Tigers declined his $16 million option at the end of the year, choosing instead to fork over the $5 million buyout as Sanchez entered free agency.
While it originally looked like the veteran righty stood a decent chance of earning a spot in the Twins’ rotation, the recent acquisitions of Lance Lynn and Jake Odorizzi forced him out of the running for a starting role. At least, that’s the reason general manager Thad Levine gave Sunday, insisting that Sanchez’s release had more to do with the new starters the club acquired over the last month and not with any facet of his performance in camp. Sanchez was originally scheduled to start the Twins’ Grapefruit League game against the Rays on Sunday. He’s 0-1 in two appearances this spring with five hits, six runs and five strikeouts scattered over four innings.