Jon Morosi of MLB Network reports that the Reds, Nationals, and Braves have all expressed interest in free agent starter Aníbal Sánchez. While a clear frontrunner has yet to emerge, it stands to reason that the Braves would have some edge on their competitors as the right-hander’s most recent major-league affiliate.
Sánchez, 34, is hardly the 6.0-fWAR player of seasons (and Tigers rosters) past. Still, he experienced a minor resurgence with the Braves after a career-worst performance in 2017, and finished out his one-year contract with a 7-6 record in 24 starts and a respectable 2.83 ERA, 2.8 BB/9 and 8.9 SO/9 through 136 2/3 innings out of the rotation and bullpen. Whether his numbers hold steady through 2019 and beyond remains to be seen, but the recent uptick in strikeouts and downward trend in home runs are encouraging signs of progress.
Of course, the veteran righty isn’t the only arm under consideration this winter, and Morosi points out that the Reds and Nationals are also currently invested in fellow free agent right-hander Mike Fiers, albeit to a lesser degree. Like Sánchez, Fiers orchestrated a comeback effort following a disappointing 2017 season, and enjoyed a collective 12-8 record and 3.56 ERA in back-to-back stints with the Tigers and Athletics. He’s drawn interest from the Giants and Rangers as well, though no one team is said to be leading the charge.