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Padres, Not Nats, Sign Sanchez

When the Mets released Duaner Sanchez last week, there was plenty of scuttlebutt that the Nationals would love to add him. It's a move that made sense; when his velocity is there, Sanchez can be a dominant back-end relief option. Unfortunately for the Mets and Sanchez himself, the velocity has gone missing a number of times in the past two years, since a freak cab accident cost him the end of a strong 2007 season.

While that makes him a dangerous option to sign, it also makes him an insatiable bargain. If everything breaks right, Sanchez could be an absolute steal on a minor league deal, and he could even emerge as a top late-innings option with a weak bullpen team like the Nationals.

Now, we finally know that isn't going to happen because Sanchez is heading to pitch for another team with a weak, young bullpen: San Diego. According to's Corey Brock, Sanchez agreed to a non-guaranteed minor league deal with the Padres.

Is this a miss for the Nats? If Sanchez performs, it definitely is. The Nationals probably won't compete for a division crown this year, but adding a guy like Sanchez now could set the table for keeping him around on a cheap deal going forward. Sometimes it's exactly those kind of breaks that help a team build depth, even when there's a plan for the future in place.

So what do people think? Are the Nationals missing out by not signing Sanchez? And, for that matter, is Sanchez missing out by going to San Diego, a team pegged by many to be the worst in the major leagues?

By Cameron Smith  |  March 16, 2009; 9:55 AM ET
Categories:  Nationals , Padres  
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Looking at Sanchez's splits, he might have wanted to get out of the NL East. His numbers weren't all that great against Philly or left-handed hitters.

Posted by: ericp331 | March 16, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse

I suppose that it would not be that much different from their signing of Julian Tavarez. If Tavarez does better than Sanchez, it will look like a good choice. My surprise was that they could have had him for the major-league minimum. I guess they just liked what they have as well as they liked him.

Positively Half St.

Posted by: kevincostello | March 16, 2009 1:54 PM | Report abuse

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