The News: Jonathan Sanchez was designated for assignment by the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday night.
The Stats: Here's the basics on Jonathan Sanchez. He's 29 years old and in his third and final year of arbitration, making $5.6 million. In 12 starts in 2012, he's put up a 7.76 ERA and 6.42 FIP.
Here's some other stats on him. Over his career, he has posted a 4.50 ERA and 4.28 FIP, which would put him closer to an average pitcher. He also has a 9.1 K/9 in his career, though also has posted a walk rate on 5.0 BB/9 in his career. Some of his other career numbers: 1.434 WHIP, 7.9 H/9, 1.0 HR/9).
This season, he has posted some of his career worsts (7.76 ERA, 11 H/9, 1.4 HR/9, 7.4 BB/9, 6.1 K/9), but they are also coming in his first year in the AL. Could a switch back to the NL help him? He put up some good years as a member of the San Francisco Giants, including a no-hitter. Plus, I'm going to bring in the term that everyone probably hates by now: BABIP. It's up at .322 this season, 32 points higher than his career average. He could be due for some regression.
One place where Sanchez could have value is as a left-handed reliever. Over his career, he has posted a .214/.310/.348 line against left-handed batters. It's up to .250/.400/.417 in 2012, but if it regresses closer to his career average, he could be a good asset for facing left-handed batters.
Could Sanchez Help the Brewers? It's possible. There are some warning signs that he might be on his way out in his career. His fastball velocity has dropped over the last few years, from 91.6 MPH in 2009 to 89.1 in 2012. Plus, the Brewers aren't looking for another starter at this point.
Despite that, he's got one good thing going for him: He's a lefty. The bullpen could use another lefty, it would give them more options in game situations. They've gone through most of the season with just Manny Parra, who has put up great numbers against left-handed batters this year, but he's also the only LHP option right now.
Also, by adding Sanchez to the bullpen, they could send Thornburg back to Nashville. Early signs for Thornburg show that he needs more work before he will be fully MLB ready. Making this move would give them a reason to put him back in Nashville.
What Do I Think the Brewers Should Do? He would be due about $2.5 million on his contract, so he probably isn't worth claiming off waivers or working out a trade with. However, if he clears waivers and becomes a free agent, he could be worth a pickup at a prorated league minimum.
IF the Brewers decide to be sellers, he could fill a hole that would open up from losing a few players. However, if they are going for it, then I don't think there's room to bring him in.