Detroit Tigers Rumors: Sanchez, Pelfrey Are of Interest to Teams

Detroit Tigers rumors season is here as the offseason gets underway. According to the latest report, the likes of Anibal Sanchez and Mike Pelfrey are of interest to teams.

Detroit Tigers rumors are already swirling with the general manager meetings taking place. Per the latest from veteran insider Jon Heyman, a number of Tigers players are garnering trade interest.

The Today’s Knuckelball writer tweeted on Thursday morning, “In addition to stars cabrera, verlander, martinez (2), Kinsler coming up in trade talks, anibal/pelf draw (some) interest.”

The reported interest in most of the names is hardly surprising after Al Avila announced the team’s intention to shed payroll and get younger.

Miguel Cabrera, Justin Verlander, Victor Martinez, J.D. Martinez and Ian Kinsler are arguably five of Detroit’s best six or seven players. Most teams wouldn’t be opposed to adding any to their respective rosters.

However, Anibal Sanchez and Mike Pelfrey’s names were also mentioned in the tweet.

It would be significant for the Tigers long-term outlook if Avila can eventually clear the duo’s respective salaries from the books.

Per Spotrac, Sanchez is owed $16 million next season with an $800,000 signing bonus. He has a club option for the 2018 season. If picked up, the starter would be owed $16 million for that campaign. His employers can buy him out for $5 million.

According to the same website, Pelfrey’s contract calls for him to make $8 million next season. After 2017, he will hit the free agent market.

2016 Struggles

Both players struggled mightily in 2016 pitching for Detroit.

Sanchez posted just a 0.8 WAR while tossing 153.1 innings. Of his 35 appearances, only 26 came in the rotation, as the former Marlin spent time as a reliever.

During a stretch lasting from mid-July to early August, the pitcher accumulated a 3.12 ERA and 27 strikeouts in 26 innings.

That stretch was followed by two starts that perhaps best summed up Sanchez’ performances down the season.

In his next start, Sanchez surrendered eight runs, eight hits, four home runs and two walks in a loss to Texas.

He followed that up by allowing three base runners and no runs in seven innings versus the Royals. The starter struck out eight during that start.

While Sanchez turned in  solid starts, those would often be accompanied by an extremely poor start on one or both sides of said solid outing. Sanchez was simply too inconsistent.

It’s purely speculative, but teams could be interested in the pitcher with the hope that he’s able to harness the form that helped him win the 2013 American League ERA crown for an entire season.

Mike Pelfrey

On the other hand, Pelfrey represents a short-term rental for teams in need of pitching.

That may make him slightly more attractive in a trade considering he doesn’t have a relatively-hefty buyout attached to his contract.

The former New York Met simply allowed too many base runners during his time in the Motor City. Pelfrey owned the highest WHIP of all starting pitchers with at least 100 innings pitched.

Again, purely from a speculative standpoint, a team like the Angels or Padres could be a fit for pitcher. Both are in desperate need of starters after injuries, trades and free agents.

This article originally appeared on