Anibal Sanchez Deserves an Extension

The Miami Marlins and Anibal Sanchez were forced to enter an Arbitration hearing this week to put a final number on his salary this year. This is a process many players go through in order to determine a fair amount of money to be paid when a deal cannot be worked out. While there is still a year to negotiate, it is very surprising the Marlins are not actively pursuing an extension for the 27 year old hurler. I, along with many other fans agree that Sanchez is more than deserving of an extension, and here is a look why:

Sanchez’s Acclomplishments

  • In his Major League Debut, Sanchez took on the nearly impossible role of getting his first win in the Bronx. Going up against a stacked Yankee squad, Anibal tossed 5 2/3 innings of scoreless baseball allowing only 7 hits. The bullpen prevailed and Sanchez became the 2nd youngest pitcher in the history of baseball to earn a win in his major league debut in New York.
  • In his 3rd career start, Sanchez defeated one of baseballs greats, Roger Clemens.
  • In his rookie year, Anibal Sanchez tossed a no hitter in a 2-0 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks. Throwing just 103 pitch’s, Sanchez struck out 6 batters and walked 4. He ended the longest no-hit drought in Major League history, and became the 19th rookie to ever throw a no-hit game in the history of baseball.
  • The Miami-Dade County Office of the Mayor officially named September 30th, “Anibal Sanchez Day.”
  • Sanchez finished his rookie year with a very impressive record of 10-3 with a 2.83 ERA. He threw 2 complete games and finished with 72 strike outs.
  • Finished the 2010 season as one of the Marlins top pitchers. With a record of 13-12, Sanchez had an impressive ERA of  3.55. During the season he flirted with another no-hit bid and also threw a complete game shutout. Anibal finished with 157 strikeouts and began to gain respect from top league officials.
  • The 2011 season was another solid year for Sanchez. While his record was a dim 8-9, Sanchez was easily on the “bad luck end” all season long. It seems every night he pitched the Marlins refused to score runs. While getting zero help, Sanchez finished the year with 3.67 ERA. He tossed 3 complete games and 2 shutouts. He also led the team in strikeouts with an impressive number of 202.
  • During the 2011 season, Sanchez flirted with 3 no-hitters. He took one to the 9th inning against the Colorado Rockies, and one to the 7th against the Nationals.

Anibal Sanchez after his no hitter

Summary of Sanchez’s Career
As you can tell, Sanchez has had his share of moments in the majors. While he did go through some inconstant years from 07-10, Sanchez battled major shoulder injuries which hindered his opportunities in becoming an everyday pitcher. Clearly Sanchez is a reliable top of the order pitcher when healthy, which he currently is. Every night he pitches the team is in a good position to win and that is an attribute you can’t coach in a pitcher. With a fastball in the mid 90’s, an above average slider, and a dominate presence on the mound, Anibal Sanchez has to be looked at as one of the best #3 options in the game today. With such a good track record, Sanchez looks to be one of the top free agents in the starting pitching field next off-season. Teams are always in need for starting pitching and he will be one of the first options looked at by many teams. In my opinion, it is very important to get a deal done with Anibal before the season ends. Without having to worry about beating out other teams for his services, the Marlins can focus on other needs for improvement.
As of right now, it looks like the Marlins are not in serious discussion about an extension for Sanchez. This has surprised many officials close to the team and myself included. Perhaps another solid year will convince the fish that an extension is deserved and beneficial. When healthy, Anibal has done nothing but promising things for the organization. He is even looked at as a “great team player” and is regarded as a “good man” off the field. Hopefully the Marlins will come together soon and realize that locking up Anibal would be a great move for the future.

Tags: Anibal Sanchez Arizona Diamondbacks Colorado Rockies Miami Marlins Roger Clemens

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