He had been a mediocre pitcher who was a year away from free agency, playing on a bad team.
This year, going into spring training, Sanchez has a new team, a new contract and a new role.
After being traded to the Detroit Tigers in July of last season, along with Omar Infante, in exchange for rookie pitcher Jacob Turner, the Tigers re-signed the free agent to a five-year, $80 million contract. Detroit has made him an integral piece to what they hope will be a World Series-winning puzzle in 2013.
As pitchers typically are, Sanchez will be compared to several others this season, especially after cashing in with such a huge deal. The Tiger that Sanchez will be compared most to in 2013 is Max Scherzer.
Sanchez and Scherzer have had similar numbers the past several seasons, but Sanchez was the one who got paid, and will be the player who performs the best this year.
Here are the three reasons Sanchez will have a better 2013 than Scherzer.