Royals Targeting Anibal Sanchez


The Kansas City Royals have been one of the more talked-about teams leading up to this year’s Winter Meetings. Rumored to be willing to move a big bat in order to bring in a top-tier starting pitcher, they’ve been unable to complete a deal while using DH Billy Butler or top prospect Wil Myers as bait.

September 25, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Anibal Sanchez (19) pitches during the first inning against the Kansas City Royals at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Instead of trading for a guy like James Shields or R.A. Dickey, both of whom has been tied to the Royals this week, it may behoove GM Dayton Moore to focus on the free agent market instead. While a guy like Shields and Dickey will cost at least one hitter and then you have to pay them upward of $10 million per year, signing a guy off the open market will cost only money. Potentially more money than a starter brought in via trade, but they’d still have control of all of their young hitters as well.

According to Jon Morosi, the Royals have set their sights on one of the biggest fish on the market in right hander Anibal Sanchez.

Sanchez is said to be seeking a contract of at least six years and many reports have an average annual value of at least $15 million year. Ordinarily that would be far too rich for the blood of the Royals, but Moore and the rest of the KC brass feel like this is the time for them to strike and try to build a pitching staff to match the firepower of their young and talented lineup. The Royals have also shown interest in Ryan Dempster.

It’s doubtful that any team will want to offer Sanchez six years, but word has been floating that at least one team has offered five to the former Detroit Tiger. It is unclear whether the Royals are a team that would offer such a deal, but it wouldn’t be unheard of. This is the same franchise, after all, that gave a five year contract to Gil Meche several years ago.

Should the Royals add Sanchez, the move would simultaneously strengthen their team while weakening the rotation of the Tigers, thereby helping to close the gap between the two clubs. Detroit would still have superior pitching, but a rotation that begins with Sanchez, Jeremy Guthrie, and the recently acquired Ervin Santana is considerably more stout than the one the Royals ran out there in 2012.