According to a report from Paul Sullivan, the Cubs signed LHP Jonathan Sanchez to a minor league contract that should include a non-roster invite to Spring Training. Sullivan reported the deal includes incentives if he is added to the 40-man roster.
When news surfaced last Sunday the Cubs were targeting Jonathan Sanchez, the front office was believed to be looking at him as a reliever and not a starter.
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 believed to be interested in signing LHP Clayton Richard as well and are thought to be looking at Richard more as a reliever than as a starter.
The Cubs have four left handed relievers on their 40-man roster (James Russell, Wesley Wright, Zac Rosscup and Brooks Raley) and have added two pitchers to the relief corps this winter in Wesley Wright and Jose Veras.
Jed Hoyer and Theo Epstein said they were spending a lot of time on the bullpen during the Winter Meetings. And there is still an offer out to a free agent starting pitcher …