In another case of “what could have been,” the A’s reportedly extended a three-year offer to pitcher Aníbal Sánchez before he signed with the Washington Nationals last month.
According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, “the exact terms of the A’s proposal are not known,” but he added that the proximity of Washington D.C. to Sanchez’s South Florida home played a huge role in the pitcher’s decision.
The addition of Sánchez would have been a very A’s-like move in all accounts but the monetary value. The 34-year-old right-hander accepted a two-year, $19 million deal with the Nats.
Now, we know pitchers are very much being taken care of with these lucrative contracts (ahem — Trevor Cahill), so that factor isn’t surprising, but the green and gold isn’t used to making it rain. This is good news for a few reasons, however.
First, if the A’s were willing to give Sanchez an offer that ballparks (pun is very much intended) around that $19 million deal, and the deciding factor was geared toward a geographical aspect, does that mean Oakland is hopping on board with the rest of the league and willing to pay the big bucks for good arms?
I know what you’re saying: “Jess, Sánchez had a good season last year, but was it an outlier?”
Last year with the Atlanta Braves, he was sensational, boasting a 2.83 ERA with 135 strikeouts in 136.2 innings.
His previous seasons with the Detroit Tigers were very hit and miss — more miss than anything. Across three seasons (2015-17), he had an ERA of 5.67 with 377 strikeouts in 415.2 innings.
While those numbers are on completely different spectrums, it’s interesting to know the A’s appeared to be willing to take a chance on him. And whether it’s a coincidence or not, four days after Sánchez was in agreement with the Nationals, the A’s signed Mike Fiers to a two-year, $14.1 million contract.