Cristopher Sánchez's insane historic run proves he more than deserves his extension

The left-hander has made himself a home in the starting rotation, and it's hard to deny that he has become a vital part of the team.
Philadelphia Phillies starter Cristopher Sánchez
Philadelphia Phillies starter Cristopher Sánchez / Rich Schultz/GettyImages
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At the beginning of 2024, the Philadelphia Phillies had some uncertainties about filling out their starting rotation.

After a solid 19 starts for Cristopher Sánchez in 2023, in which he posted a 3.44 ERA and struck out 96 in 99 1/3 innings, the Phillies were willing to see how the young southpaw would fare as a back end of the rotation arm in 2024.

Through 15 starts in 2024, Sánchez is 5-3 with a 2.67 ERA and 70 strikeouts in 84 1/3 innings. He also carries the second-best ERA in the National League and owns a league-best 0.1 HR/9 — a huge leap for the fourth-year player.

On Saturday, the Phillies and Sánchez reached an agreement on a four-year contract extension worth $22.5 million, per MLB.com's Paul Casella. The contract buys out the remaining years of arbitration and has club options in 2029 and 2030.

Cristopher Sánchez's insane historic run proves he more than deserves his extension

It has been a coming out party in 2024 for Sánchez as he fits squarely in between Ranger Suárez and Zack Wheeler for the best ERA in all of the NL. By minimizing the long ball, he has put himself in elite company with some notable names.

According to Casella, Sánchez has done something only four other MLB pitchers have accomplished, including three Hall of Famers, with his first 15 starts of the season. Allowing only one home run with a sub-3.00 ERA, more than 70 strikeouts and fewer than 25 walks, the 27-year-old has put his name alongside Bill Gullickson and Hall of Famers Walter Johnson, Grover Alexander and Charles Bender.

Sánchez has been among the league's best, in the 90th percentile in chase rate and 97th percentile in ground ball percentage.

The Phillies locking up another starting pitcher proves this team is willing to spend to win. They've turned Sánchez into a dominant force since trading for him from the Tampa Bay Rays in 2019 after he signed as an International free agent in 2013. With the numbers that Sánchez has put up so far, he more than deserves his new contract as he can compete with most staff's aces — making Philadelphia's rotation a four-headed monster.

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