The Anibal Sanchez deal became official today as the Tigers put the finishing touches on one of top rotations in baseball.  The club held a press conference at Comerica Park officially announcing the five-year deal.  Sanchez joins Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer and Doug Fister to form a very deep top four.

All are under the age of 30, and for the time being, the rotation also includes Rick Porcello and Drew Smyly who each check in at the tender age of 23.

From the beginning it seemed that Sanchez wanted to remain a Tiger.  He appeared to find the Tigers club house comfortable after the July trade that brought him to Detroit with fellow Venezuelan Omar Infante. 

His agent Geno Mato reiterated that stance today.  "It was pretty clear to me from the beginning that Anibal wanted to be a Tiger, and I did everything in my power to make it happen," he said.

Sanchez was lights out in his three post season starts and was as good as any pitcher in the A.L. the final month of the season.

As expected, Dave Dombrowski's phone has gotten a workout asking about the availability of Rick Porcello.    When asked to describe the call volume regarding his pitching riches, Dombrowski characterized it as "numerous."

Should the Tigers trade him?  If the right deal comes along, sure, otherwise the baseball truism that you can never have enough pitching applies.  Depth is required to navigate through the rigors of a 162-game season, and Porcello gives the Tigers depth.

Porcello has been a contact pitcher since arriving in the big leagues.  Last season, he allowed a league high 226 hits.  His pitch breakdown shows that he threw his slider between 15% and 20% the last two seasons.  In his best season (14 wins, 3.96 ERA in 2009) he threw his slider just 8 % of the time.  Regaining the dominant sinker he displayed at his best would go a long way to getting Porcello over the hump.

The Tigers window is now.  With a youthful and talented pitching staff in place, and two of its biggest offensive stars (Miguel Cabrera 29, and Prince Fielder 28) under the age of 30, a shot at the World Series in the next couple of years seems doable.



09/24/2013 06:13

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