Minnesota Twins: Anibal Sanchez signs with the Twins

BALTIMORE, MD - AUGUST 06: Anibal Sanchez
BALTIMORE, MD - AUGUST 06: Anibal Sanchez /

The Minnesota Twins have added another possible piece for the starting rotation. It’s not the big name addition fans are hoping to see but it is something at least.

The Minnesota Twins have signed former Detroit Tigers right-handed pitcher Anibal Sanchez. He is a former All-Star who has had a lot of success over his long career. However, Sanchez has not been very effective in recent seasons.

The contract is only a one-year deal for $2.5 million with a possible $2.5 million more in incentives. The Twins need pitching and this is a low-risk high-reward move to add one more arm to the mix. Sanchez has pitched in the American League Central for the last six seasons with the Tigers so his familiarity with the division will help him.

Can Sanchez help the Twins?

Sanchez struggled with ineffectiveness and injury over the last few seasons and that has hurt his reputation. As recently as 2013 he was one of the top pitchers in baseball.

Sanchez was 14-8 with a 2.57 ERA in 29 starts for the Tigers in 2013. He walked only 54 batters while compiling 202 strikeouts across 182 innings pitched. However, he hasn’t come close to matching those numbers in the seasons since.

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He has pitched in 110 games, 89 starts, since the ’13 season and his numbers have been bad. He is still a quality strikeout pitcher averaging a solid 8 K/9 over that span. However, his ERA has climbed steadily over the last four seasons and Sanchez shows no signs of regaining his form.

Sanchez pitched 105 1/3 innings over 28 games, 17 starts, for Detroit last season. He was 3-7 with a terrible 6.41 ERA while surrendering a career high 2.2 HR/9. The Minnesota Twins have major questions in the rotation but Sanchez is not the answer.

This is a make or break Spring for Sanchez. If he can rediscover any of his early success he could be an asset for this pitching staff. However, it would be a surprise if Sanchez made much of an impact for the Twins in 2018. However, pitchers come from out of nowhere every season and Sanchez is definitely a comeback candidate.

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He could benefit from the superior brand of defense the Twins play and return to his former ways. However, it will be a long season if the Twins are banking on that happening. Sanchez was once one of the best in Major League Baseball. However, those days are long gone and Sanchez probably is what he is at this point.