Now that the 2012 World Series is over, what's next for the runners-up?
Following their World Series sweep at the hands of the San Francisco Giants, the Detroit Tigers have several question marks as they prepare for the 2013 season. What is the fate of free agents Anibal Sanchez and Jose Valverde, and will manager Jim Leyland be back next season?
After the game, Sanchez told reporters, including Joe Rexrode of the Detroit Free Press, that he’s open to re-signing with the Tigers this winter. However, the right-hander wouldn’t limit his opportunities as he said he’s "open" to pitching for anybody.
The Tigers acquired Sanchez this summer from the Miami Marlins. Most expected the pending free agent to be a two-month rental for Detroit, but as the season went on there were rumblings that the club hoped to re-sign the 28-year-old.
Valverde told George Sipple of the Detroit Free Press that he’d also like to return with the Tigers next season. The free agent performed well enough as the team’s closer during the regular season, but he struggled immensely in the playoffs. The 34-year-old allowed nine earned runs in only 2 2/3 innings.
Leyland said the Tigers will be the final team he manages, but the question remains if he’ll return for another season. Chris Iott of MLive.com reports that all indications seem to be that he’ll be back with the team in 2013.