After the Twins released pitcher Aníbal Sánchez in mid-March, there was some thought that the veteran right-hander could call it quits. Instead, Sánchez signed a minor league contract with the Braves. He ended up opening the season as the No. 5 starter in the Braves’ rotation, but proved himself to be much more than just a No. 5 starter.
Sánchez, 34, made 24 starts and one relief appearance, going 7-6 with a 2.83 ERA and a 135/42 K/BB ratio in 136 2/3 innings. He started Game 2 of the NLDS for the Braves against the Dodgers. He gave up three runs in 4 2/3 innings, but the Braves ended up getting shut out.
Sánchez is a free agent again, so it’s natural to wonder if he plans to keep playing. He does, for at least a couple more seasons, Gabe Burns of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. Sánchez is open to returning to the Braves, helping guide an otherwise young starting rotation. On returning to the Braves, Sánchez said, “I would love to. They gave me an opportunity to be here. The club they have here, it’s amazing. I know they’re going to do a lot of good things next year. I’d love to be here again.”
The World Series champion Red Sox are scheduled to visit President Trump in the White House on February 15. Some have speculated that manager Álex Cora, who is from Puerto Rico and has been critical of Trump and has been a big factor in Hurricane Maria relief efforts, might not go as a form of protest. Thus far, nothing concrete has been reported on that front.
However, third baseman Rafael Devers says he isn’t going to join the Red Sox on their visit to the White House, Evan Drellich of NBC Sports Boston reports. Devers would prefer to focus on baseball, as the Red Sox open spring training on February 13 and position players have to report on February 17. Per Chris Mason, Devers also said via a translator, “The opportunity was presented and I just wasn’t compelled to go.”
Devers hails from the Dominican Republic and he, like many of Major League Baseball’s foreign-born player base, might not be happy about Trump’s immigration policies. Understandably, he is being tight-lipped about his motivation, but it wouldn’t be surprising if Devers is making a silent protest by choosing not to attend. He is thus far the only member of the team to bow out.
Devers, 22, hit .240/.298/.433 with 21 home runs, 66 RBI, and 59 runs scored in 490 plate appearances last season.
Last year, when the Astros visited Trump at the White House, they did so without Carlos Correa and Carlos Beltrán. Both are from Puerto Rico. It is certainly not unprecedented for individual players to opt out of the White House visit.
No word yet on what food will be served during Boston’s trip to the nation’s capital, but the smart money is on hamberders.