When the Detroit Tigers initially acquired right-hander Anibal Sanchez from the Miami Marlins this summer it appeared he’d be a half-season rental for the club. While this may initially have been the case, the Tigers’ mindset has changed, reports Jason Beck of MLB.com:
"Yeah, he’s a player we’d like to keep," team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski told the Detroit News on Monday.
Beck notes that the Tigers haven’t spent big on a free agent starter during Dombrowski’s tenure, but that could change following owner Mike Ilitch’s aggressive moves from a winter ago.
If the Tigers do decide to sign Sanchez to a multi-year contract, Beck says someone in the club’s current rotation has to go. He cites a numbers and payroll issue that will force Detroit’s hand.
The team’s starting five consists of Sanchez, Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, Rick Porcello and Doug Fister. Verlander will make $20 million next year and Scherzer, Porcello and Fister will all be arbitration eligible.
With the emergence of Drew Smyly, Beck says it makes no sense for the Tigers to keep their current five-man rotation intact. In his opinion, Detroit should either let Sanchez walk or trade one of the others.