Nationals: Anibal Sanchez being courted by NL East rival

Reports indicate the Philadelphia Phillies are interested in Anibal Sanchez.

Close your eyes and think back to the magical season the Washington Nationals put together in 2019. Of all the joyous moments which took place on the field and in the dugout, which are your favorites? I bet you can’t list many without rattling off some of the exploits of pitcher Anibal Sanchez.

Whether it was the colorful shades he wore, the tandem hugs given to Stephen Strasburg he was a part of, or some other creative shenanigans, Sanchez helped keep the team loose. All this while doing his part to turn the team around and steam roll through the playoffs.

At 11-8, with a 3.85 earned run average he was a steady hand in the regular season, and dominate in two of his three postseason starts. The no-hitter he took into the eighth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 1 of the National League Championship Series set the tone for the four game sweep.

Sanchez struggled in 2020 and his 6.62 earned run average made it easy for the Nationals to decline his $12M option for the 2021 season.

And now the Philadelphia Phillies are interested in signing him.

Sanchez has relationships with Phillies manager Joe Girardi from their time together with the Florida Marlins as well as Phillies President, Dave Dombrowski, from their time in Detroit.

The right-handed pitcher would be a great fit for the back end of any rotation and could be had relatively cheap. He is a veteran of 15 big league seasons, a leader on the field and in the clubhouse, and a guy with plenty of postseason pitching experience. With Aaron Nola, Zack Wheeler, and Zach Eflin, slated to be the top three pitchers in the Phillies rotation, Sanchez would be a nice change of pace pitcher for Philly.

As happy as I would be to see Anibal land a job, I would rather he sign somewhere I could cheer for his success. Regardless of where he ends up, Anibal Sanchez will always have a place in the hearts of Washington Nationals fans.