Anibal Sanchez
Getty Images

Report: Reds, Nationals, Braves in on Aníbal Sánchez

4 Comments

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.

Cubs have considered trading Ben Zobrist

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
2 Comments

The Athletic’s Sahadev Sharma reports that the Cubs have considered trading super-utilityman Ben Zobrist in order to free up payroll space, which would allow the club to address other areas of the roster.

Zobrist, 37, is entering the final year of his contract and will earn $12 million in 2019. According to Cot’s Contracts, the Cubs project to have an Opening Day payroll of about $204.5 million, just a hair below the luxury tax threshold of $206 million. The Cubs have notably been absent from the free agent marketplace, particularly involving Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, due to luxury tax concerns.

Last season, Zobrist hit .305/.378/.440 with nine home runs, 58 RBI, and 67 runs scored in 520 plate appearances. He played all over the field, logging 100-plus innings in both outfield corners and second base while also spending a handful of games at first base. With Addison Russell serving a 40-game suspension to open the 2019 season, Javier Báez will handle shortstop and Zobrist figures to be the starting second baseman.