April 21, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcherJonathan Sanchez
(57) delivers a pitch against the Atlanta Braves during the first inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
According to Cubs beat writer Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune, the organization is interested in free agent left-hander Jonathan Sanchez. Another report from Japanese media indicates that Chicago has offered a minor league deal to left-hander Tsuyoshi Wada, as well.
While Wada’s offer is reportedly a minor league deal, it appears very likely that Sanchez would receive one that’s comparable, given his recent struggles.
He lasted just five games with Pittsburgh last season, before ending up in the Dodgers organization, pitching for their Triple-A affiliate. In 66 2/3 innings of work, he pitched to the tune of a 5.13 earned run average.
Sanchez, 31, has fallen into disfavor following his career year back in 2010, when he went 13-9 with a 3.07 ERA for the World Series champion San Francisco Giants. He notched 205 punch outs in 193 1/3 innings of work, posting a 1.231 WHIP – a career best – and a 3.7 WAR.
Although he has pitched primarily as a starter during his big league career, Gonzales reports that the Cubs are eyeing him as a potential left-handed option out of the pen, joining the several other left-handed options in the relief corps – something the Cubs beat writer believes could lead to a trade in the coming weeks.
"The Cubs already have left-handers James Russell, Wesley Wright, Zac Rosscup and Brooks Raley in their bullpen, so they could make a trade if they sign Sanchez."
Wada, 32, has spent the past two seasons in the Baltimore Orioles organization, pitching with the club’s Triple-A affiliate in Norfolk. In 2013, he went 5-6 in 19 starts with a 4.03 ERA. He posted a 2.29 SO/BB ratio, much improved from his rough debut season in 2012, and recently Theo Epstein offered comments about the southpaw.
"“He had a great second half [in 2013]. We think he’s a pitcher who can compete in the Majors.”"
According to the report, several teams are interested in Wada, but Chicago is “enthusiastically” pursuing him.