Once Sanchez righted the ship, he became the pitcher the Tigers thought they were getting when they acquired him in a deal involving top pitching prospect Jacob Turner.
Sanchez dominated over his last eight Tigers starts, posting a 2.15 ERA with 44 strikeouts and only 7 walks in that stretch. In doing so, he also proved that he could make the transition from the National League to the American League.
The Tigers knew that Sanchez was a free-agent-to-be when they acquired him and perhaps originally viewed him as a short term rental with the hopes he could help them win a World Series title.
Sanchez very nearly helped the Tigers win the ultimate prize, and in doing so probably earned himself a rather large payday this off season. The only question is, who will be signing his checks over the next several years?
The post season can help free agents add dollars and years to their next contract and it appears Sanchez did just that. The right-hander allowed a total of just 4 runs in in his three post season starts.
Let the bidding begin.
The Tigers rotation of Justin Verlander, Doug Fister, Max Scherzer and Sanchez was very good in the post season. Keeping Sanchez in a Tigers uniform would keep an outstanding rotation intact heading into 2013.
The Tigers will certainly be involved in the bidding and it will be interesting to see what Sanchez will command.
Indications are that Sanchez will earn at least $12 million per year on the open market, and perhaps more. Zach Greinke is the only free agent pitcher available this year that is rated higher.
While having Sanchez for the stretch run last year could give the Tigers a leg up in the process, keep in mind that this is his first foray into free agency and ultimately he has to take care of his family first.
Still, it is fun to think about the Tigers 2013 rotation with Sanchez included.