Despite Derrick Goold’s article from yesterday explaining the abundance of valuable young pitching that the Cardinals have, I wrote yesterday that I think the Cardinals should be going out into the offseason with a plan of somehow acquiring a solid, established starting pitcher.
Anibal Sanchez, the starter for Game 3 of the World Series tonight, will become a free agent next week and will probably command somewhere between $30-50 million dollars. I don’t know how much payroll flexibility John Mozeliak has this offseason, but I think Sanchez would be an interesting fit. He has definitely had his share of injuries from over the years, but he’s an accomplished pitcher and one that could be really good for a rotation, that in my mind, has a lot of question marks.
Sanchez’s fastball isn’t overpowering, but he has an impressive sinker that he throws in the low-90s and an effective slider that strikes out a lot of batters. While I’m very excited about the progression of guys like Rosenthal, Miller, and Kelly, I’m not convinced that any of them can be counted on for a full, productive season. I don’t know how Jaime Garcia’s elbow is going to respond after all the problems he has had, and Jake Westbrook wouldn’t have even pitched in the World Series had the Cardinals made it, making him a question mark as well.
Lohse is gone from what I understand. He’s going to get somewhere around $80 million and the Cardinals simply don’t have that kind of money to pay. It’s unfortunate, but that’s just the business of free agency and the Cardinals can’t compete with some of the higher market teams who would be willing to pay for him.
I’d like to see what kind of offers Sanchez gets. They definitely shouldn’t overpay for him, because he’s not that worth it. But if the price is right and the Cardinals can get away with offering him a 3-4 year contract worth around $35-40 million, I think they should definitely go for it.
In 2012, Sanchez went 9-16 with a 3.86 ERA. He had 167 strikeouts and threw 195.2 innings.