The Red Sox could use a stabilizing, productive presence in their rotation in 2013. Even if all three of Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, and John Lackey pitch well, there are still questions at the back-end of the rotation. If they don't pitch well, then Boston needs another arm who will to shoulder some of that load. Enter Anibal Sanchez, who the Boston Herald's Michael Silverman is reporting the Red Sox have their eye on.
"Several" teams are looking at Sanchez, which makes sense, given he's likely the second-best free agent pitcher on the market behind Zack Greinke. He might not end up being the second-best deal, but as far as talent goes, he's certainly up there. Sanchez has averaged 196 innings, 32 starts, and a 109 ERA+ over the last three seasons. He's not top-of-the-rotation material, but he's a fine addition to the middle, and Boston could use that.
He might be a little more expensive than that, but it depends on how much other clubs want him. At the low end, you're probably talking four years at $12 million a piece. If the demand for his services is high, though, things could enter into C.J. Wilson territory, maybe for five years, $75 million total. That's quite the range, but it's early enough in the off-season that a huge difference like that can exist. It's likely he'll end up somewhere in the middle, possibly four years at $60 million total, but there's certainly room for something smaller depending on who comes calling.
Cherington was one of the two general managers in Boston -- at the time that he and Jed Hoyer shared the duties during Theo Epstein's little off-season escape -- who sent Sanchez to the Marlins in the Hanley Ramirez trade that brought Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell to the Red Sox. Sanchez was an intriguing prospect in the Boston system, peaking at #5 after the 2004 season. He also had a history of arm trouble, and while that plagued him early on in his big-league career, he's been healthy through his prime years to this point.