Nationals agree to terms with Aníbal Sánchez

The Washington Nationals agreed to terms on a two-year contract with a team option for 2021 with right-handed pitcher Aníbal Sánchez on Thursday. Nationals President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo made the announcement.

Sánchez, 34, went 7-6 with a 2.83 ERA in 25 games (24 starts) for the Atlanta Braves in 2018. His 2.83 ERA was the second-best mark of his career and the best since he posted a 2.57 ERA in 2013 as a member of the Detroit Tigers. He struck out 135 batters in 136.2 innings and posted a career-best 1.08 WHIP. He surrendered just 15 home runs, his fewest since 2014 with Detroit.

Among National League pitchers with at least 24 starts in 2018, Sánchez ranked sixth in ERA (2.83), seventh in opponent batting average (.213), ninth in opponent on-base percentage (.278), ninth in WHIP (1.08) and tenth in opponent slugging percentage (.354). He allowed the fifth-fewest home runs (15) and issued the ninth-fewest walks (42) among National League pitchers (min. 24 GS).

Sánchez was strong against left-handed batters in 2018, holding them to a .191/.279/.294 slash line. His .294 opponent slugging percentage against left-handed batters was the best among National League right-handed starting pitchers, while his .191 opponent average was good for third.

Sánchez has appeared in eight Postseason games (seven starts), including three starts for the Detroit Tigers as they advanced to the 2012 World Series. He is 2-5 with a 3.12 ERA (15 ER/43.1 IP) in his eight career Postseason appearances.

A veteran of 13 Major League seasons, Sánchez is 97-100 with a 3.99 ERA in 309 games (286 starts) with the Florida/Miami Marlins (2006-12), Detroit Tigers (2012-17) and Atlanta Braves (2017). A native of Maracay, Venezuela, he was originally signed by the Boston Red Sox on January 3, 2001.

With this transaction, Washington’s 40-man roster is at 40 players