Cubs Reportedly Targeting LHP Jonathan Sanchez

According to a report from the Tribune, the Cubs are targeting lefty Jonathan Sanchez and are just one of several teams interested in signing the southpaw.

The Cubs are looking at Jonathan Sanchez as more of a reliever than a starter according to the report.

Jonathan Sanchez was once one of the many young, promising arms in the Giants’ organization. Sanchez posted a 13-9 record in 34 games, 33 starts, with a 3.07 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP for the eventual World Champs in 2010. Sanchez had a miserable 2011 season after tossing a career-high 193 1/3 innings with 205 strikeouts the season before. Sanchez was dealt to the Royals following the 2011 campaign for Melky Cabrera and his career continued to spiral downward.

The Royals dealt Sanchez to the Rockies for Jeremy Guthrie in July of 2012 then released him in the fall. Sanchez spent time in the Pirates and Dodgers organizations last season and pitched in five games for the Pirates (0-3 with an 11.85 ERA and a 2.41 WHIP).

Jonathan Sanchez is 3-2 in 57 career relief appearances with a 4.22 ERA and a 1.48 WHIP. Lefties have hit .218/.313/.363 against Sanchez in his career.

The Cubs are exploring ways to add a lefty to the pen which could mean they are looking to deal a left-handed reliever. Wesley Wright recently agreed to terms on a one-year deal that the team has not announced. The Cubs cannot deal Wright and it would not seem LHP Zac Rosscup or LHP Brooks Raley, the other two lefty relievers on the 40-man roster, would bring as much in return as James Russell.

The Cubs are believed to be interested in signing former White Sox and Padres’ southpaw Clayton Richard to fill a role in the pen as well.

One of the Cubs’ rumored targets for a late inning role in the pen is no longer available. According to multiple reports, RHP John Axford agreed to terms on a deal to close games for the Cleveland Indians.

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