Phillies reportedly interested in veteran starting pitcher

As the Philadelphia Phillies look to upgrade the back-end of their starting rotation, they’re apparently interested in a veteran right-hander.

The Phillies are reportedly interested in Anibal Sanchez. (Ian D’Andrea)

According to Jon Morosi of MLB Network, the Phillies have interest in 36-year-old Aníbal Sánchez. As Morosi points out, this is probably something we should have seen coming, considering Joe Girardi managed Sánchez with the Marlins and president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski acquired him when he was leading the front office for the Detroit Tigers.

Sánchez, who won the ERA title in 2013, struggled mightily in 2020, posting a 6.62 ERA and 5.46 in 11 starts for the Washington Nationals. That said, Sanchez went 11-8 with a 3.85 ERA and 4.44 FIP in 30 starts as recently as 2019. Notably, Sánchez posted a 2.50 ERA in three postseason starts in 2019, helping the Nationals to their first World Series title in franchise history.

Whether, at this stage of his career, Sánchez can rebound is unclear. We also don’t know if he’ll be guaranteed a major league deal, or if a signing would be on a minor-league basis with an invite to major league spring training.

Regardless of if it’s Sánchez or someone else, the Phillies appear to be aware that they need to add more depth to their starting rotation. As Phillies Nation‘s Ty Daubert noted, it will be hard for the team to bank on Spencer Howard to eat a ton of innings in 2021 given that he only threw 24 1/3 innings in 2020. Vince Velasquez is back, but has never been a consistently effective starting pitcher. The Phillies are very confident in the top three arms in their rotation – Aaron Nola, Zack Wheeler and Zach Eflin – but there’s a lot of uncertainty after that trio.

MLB Network‘s Jon Heyman previously reported that the Phillies were interested in former Marlins righty José Ureña before he inked a deal with the Detroit Tigers. We’ve suggested that former All-Star Adam Wainwright could bring some stability to the back of the rotation, even at this advanced stage of his career.


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