According to mlbtraderumors.com, the Royals just released Jonathan Sanchez as he attempted what will almost certainly be his last MLB comeback attempt. The thought of Sanchez brings back at least some fond memories.
Giants’ fans will remember a largely frustrating career — great stuff, not enough command — that culminated in one fine year in which the Giants just happened to win their first World Series since 1954. That, and his 2009 no-hitter.
2010, when Sanchez went 13-9 with a 3.07 ERA, was his one full season to remember. His command still wasn’t great that year, but his stuff was so good that he allowed only 142 hits in 193.1 innings pitched, and he struck out 205.
Sanchez last pitched in the majors in 2013. Injuries set in quickly in quickly after the 2010 season, and his career was straight downhill from that point.
He pitched well in the Puerto Rican Winter League in post 2015, but this past Winter League season he pitched only two innings in one start in which he gave up only one hit, but walked four while striking out three. If his arm is healthy, he could get a shot pitching in the Puerto Rican Winter league next off-season, but that’s about it, unless he’s willing to pitch in Mexico this summer.
In today’s game, it’s hard to feel sorry for Sanchez. His career may not have been what he and the SF Giants hoped for, but he made more than $15 million playing professional baseball, and he’s earned a substantial major league pension, which will go far indeed if he spends any significant part of each year in Puerto Rico.
It’s tough to be an MLB player this generation, but those who can have any kind of career are now well compensated.