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Detroit Tigers will reportedly decline Anibal Sanchez’ 2018 option

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DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 20: Anibal Sanchez #19 of the Detroit Tigers pitches against the Oakland Athletics during the third inning at Comerica Park on September 20, 2017 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 20: Anibal Sanchez #19 of the Detroit Tigers pitches against the Oakland Athletics during the third inning at Comerica Park on September 20, 2017 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images) /
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Detroit Tigers veteran starting pitcher Anibal Sanchez won’t have his option for the 2018 season, according to a tweet from the Detroit Free Press’ Anthony Fenech. Fenech tweeted the news on Friday.

Detroit Tigers fans could very well see a team without starting pitcher Anibal Sanchez next season.

The Detroit Free Press’ Anthony Fenech tweeted about the news on Friday morning.

Fenech tweeted the following:

"“The Tigers will decline Anibal Sanchez’ $16 million option for 2018, general manager Al Avila said.”"

While it’s conceivable that the team could re-sign Sanchez, it seems prudent to move on from the Tigers’ point of view.

The veteran made an instant impact in Detroit, pitching to a 9.2 fWAR in his first two seasons with the club.

Related Story: Seung-hwan Oh is intriguing FA fit, potential trade chip for Tigers

Over that span, Sanchez also pitched to a 2.92 ERA, a 2.52 FIP, a 1.130 WHIP and 304 strikeouts in 308 innings.

The performances helped propel the Tigers to a pair of division crowns in the two seasons.

However, things went downhill for Sanchez after that.

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Since the end of the 2014 campaign, the veteran owns just a 2.4 fWAR in 415.2 frames.

His ERA and FIP both ballooned to 5.67 and 5.01 respectively. He struck out 377 in that span, but his uptick in runs allowed was predominantly due to a problem with the home run ball.

From 2006 to 2014, Sanchez gave up a total of 92 home runs, good for 0.7 per nine frames. In fact, his 0.4 home runs allowed per nine innings in the 2013 season led the Majors.

That being said, in the last three years, the starter allowed 85, including a Major League-leading 29 in 2015.

He gave up 26 in what was a largely a struggle of a 2017 season.

On the whole, Sanchez threw 105.1 innings, appearing in 28 games while making 17 starts.

He struck out 8.89 batters per nine frames and gave up 2.48 walks per nine innings. Sanchez also worked to a 6.41 ERA, a 5.33 FIP, a 4.40 xFIP and a 4.16 xFIP. The hurler gave up a career-high 2.22 home runs per nine frames.

Moving forward

Heading into 2018, the Detroit Tigers could fill the rotation in one of two ways.

The team could either roll with one of the team’s younger starters or add a veteran starter in free agency on a short-term contract.

Next: These trade ideas would improve the Tigers

Among the conceivable free agent are Doug Fister, Tyson Ross, Miles Mikolas and Chris Tillman.

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