Emboldened by the right-hander’s strong postseason with the Detroit Tigers, the agent for free-agent starter Anibal Sanchez is currently asking teams for a contract in the range of six years and $90 million, multiple major-league sources told FOXSports.com.
The request works out to an average annual value of $15 million – very close to what C.J. Wilson received as the top pitcher to hit the open market last offseason. But Wilson signed for five years, not six, and a total of $77.5 million with the Los Angeles Angels.
In addition to the Tigers, the Boston Red Sox, Toronto Blue Jays, Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Dodgers are known to have interest in Sanchez, sources say. It’s not clear if any will meet the $90 million price tag, but Sanchez could sign for more than initially expected because of his performance in the American League, the volume of interest and overall industry health.
A high-ranking executive with one club said this week that Sanchez, 28, is in a “favorable position” within the marketplace. If a team agrees on the $15 million per annum but views the sixth year as a hang-up, that 2018 salary could turn into a contractual option and bring the guaranteed value in line with what Wilson received.
Sanchez went 9-13 with a 3.86 ERA in 31 starts with the Miami Marlins and Tigers this year, followed by a 1-2 record and 1.77 ERA in three postseason outings.
Zack Greinke is viewed by many as the top starter available on the market this offseason. Sanchez is roughly four months younger than Greinke, 29, and has the better ERA+ over the past three seasons (109, compared to 106). Greinke has more innings and strikeouts during the same period, along with one more quality start (40-39).
Among current free agents, Greinke was the best this season in Fielding Independent Pitching, ahead of Kyle Lohse and Sanchez, according to statistics at FanGraphs.com.