The Milwaukee Brewers main goal this offseason is to shore up the bullpen and sign a veteran starting pitcher.
The Brewers will be cautious and won't break the bank on a free agent, but if they are willing to spend a little more than they want, Anibal Sanchez should be the pitcher they give their money to. Sanchez is the second-best free agent pitcher behind Zack Greinke. He won't come cheap, and for good reason.
Sanchez enjoyed a roller coaster ride in 2012. He started 19 games and posted a 3.94 ERA with the Miami Marlins before being shipped off to the playoff bound Detroit Tigers. For the American League Champs, he recorded a 3.74 ERA in 12 starts.
Despite being a playoff virgin, Sanchez shut down the competition despite going 1-2. In three starts, he limited the opposing offense to just four runs in 20.4 innings. His performance in the postseason makes him incredibly more valuable.
With veterans Randy Wolf, Zack Greinke, and Shaun Marcum no longer a part of the team, the Brewers must sign an experienced player to give guidance to the abundance of young Milwaukee pitchers.
Sanchez has a calm and relaxed delivery. His fastball tops out at around 95 mph and Sanchez is sneaky in changing his velocity. His slow curve (which he throws around 76 mph) is relatively hittable, which contributed to the 20 home runs he gave up in 2012. If he learns to locate better and limit the long balls, Sanchez would be among the top pitchers in baseball.
At only 28-years-old, Sanchez has the ability to be a solid middle-of-the-rotation guy for the Brewers. Milwaukee wants to build their rotation around Yovani Gallardo and Wily Peralta. Sanchez would fit in nicely as a No. 2 starter behind Gallardo or following Peralta.
A monetary road block could halt Milwaukee's pursuit of Sanchez. The cost for Sanchez could be up around $12-15 million a year—C.J. Wilson money. That may just be too much for the Brewers, but as they always say, you gotta spend money to win money.
Kyle Lohse, Ryan Dempster, and Brandon McCarthy are surely to be less expensive than Sanchez, but Sanchez is younger and with more upside. It'll be a long shot for the Brewers to sign Sanchez, but they should go hard after him nonetheless.