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Anibal Sanchez threw a seven-inning gem at Yankee Stadium in the 2012 ALCS.
The Red Sox starting pitching posted 72 losses, a 5.19 ERA and 1.42 WHIP in 2012. Only the Twins and Indians starters had more losses and a higher ERA in the American League last season.
The starting rotation needs serious help with Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz and Felix Doubront struggling in 2012, Beckett and Dice-K no longer on the team, and John Lackey so far being a major free agent bust.
Anibal Sanchez is the free agent starting pitcher to help revive the starting rotation.
Sanchez this year proved that he can pitch well in both the American and National League. He’s posted a below-4.00 ERA each of the last three and a half seasons with the struggling Marlins. In the second half of season with the Tigers this year, he posted a 3.74 ERA.
More importantly, his best success came in the 2012 playoffs.
In three starts this postseason, Sanchez had a 1-2 record, but he was backed by only three total runs of run support. Over the three starts, he allowed just four runs, 14 hits and six walks, while striking out 18 over 20.1 innings; good for a 1.77 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP.
In his first postseason start, in Game 3 of the ALDS, the Tigers pitcher allowed five hits, two runs, two walks and one HR over 6.1 innings in a loss against the A’s. In Game 2 of the ALCS in New York, the 28-year-old threw a gem, allowing just three hits, three walks and no runs while striking out seven batters over 7.0 innings in a win against the Yankees. In his lone World Series start, Sanchez allowed six hits, two runs and one walk, while striking out eight over 7.0 innings.
Sanchez’s fastball touches 95-96, he’s walking fewer batters, and he does not allow many home runs. He’s also proved that he can pitch well on the biggest stage this postseason— at Yankee Stadium in the ALCS and in the World Series.
Sanchez does not have the track record and a Cy Young Award like Greinke does, but he will cost at least $5 million less per year and comes with three years less of a commitment.
Cherington recruited the Venezuelan in 2001 to sign with Boston, but the former Red Sox minor leaguer was also involved with the trade that sent him and Hanley Ramirez to the Marlins for Mike Lowell and Josh Beckett in 2005.
Given his much lower asking price than Greinke’s and his recent, big-game success, Anibal Sanchez is the No.1 free agent for the Red Sox to sign this offseason.