Philadelphia Phillies: 3 veteran FA pitchers better than Anibal Sanchez

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Instead of Anibal Sanchez, the Philadelphia Phillies should target these FA arms.

Earlier in the week, it was reported that the Philadelphia Phillies were interested in free agent pitcher Anibal Sanchez. While I’m all for Dave Dombrowski adding another starter to the mix (starting pitching depth is an underrated need for the Phils!), Sanchez is an objectively *bad* option.

He struggled big time in 2020, he turns 37 next month, and his 2019 FIP/xFIP numbers tell the tale of a pitcher who’s been regressing for some time now.

With that said, there are a handful of other veteran starters that I think the Philadelphia Phillies would be wise to check in on, options that would be an improvement over the likes of Anibal Sanchez:

J.A. Happ

A former Phillie way back in the late 2000s, J.A. Happ is more in line with what the Philadelphia Phillies should be targeting this offseason. Not only is he a lefty (the Phillies have no lefties in their rotation at the moment), but his numbers have been pretty consistent over the last couple of seasons, even with his age becoming a bit of a negative factor (38).

Happ posted a 4.34 xFIP in 2020 across nine starts with the Yankees, and a 4.78 xFIP across 30 starts in 2019. Even if we’re taking Happ at his worst, he’d still be an instant upgrade over the likes of Vince Velasquez who’s proven time and time again that he’s not a reliable starter.

Happ also has some experience coming out of the bullpen in the postseason, an additional valuable trait considering the Phillies lack of overall reliever depth.

It’s unclear what Happ’s market is at the moment (I’m assuming it’s on the cheaper side), but the Phillies should be happy to fork over a couple million if it means securing Happ as a fifth starter/spot starter for the 2021 season.

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