Phillies' Cristopher Sánchez extension secures key rotation piece for the future

The Phillies announced the four-year extension for the left-hander on Saturday.
Philadelphia Phillies starter Cristopher Sanchez
Philadelphia Phillies starter Cristopher Sanchez / Rich Schultz/GettyImages

The Philadelphia Phillies are securing a piece of the future. A piece of the rotation to be precise.

First broken by MLB insider Jon Heyman, the Phillies have finalized an extension with starting pitcher Cristopher Sánchez. Breaking the news on Saturday morning, Heyman posted that the two sides had a four-year deal in place, plus options.

Phillies' Cristopher Sánchez extension secures key rotation piece for the future

The Phillies later confirmed that they have indeed reached an agreement on a four-year contract extension that will begin in 2025. The extension buys out his arbitration years, which would have kicked in beginning in 2026.

At 27 years old, Sánchez was a bit of a late bloomer and wouldn’t have been eligible for free agency until 2029. According to The Philadelphia Inquirer's Scott Lauber, the new deal includes team options for 2029 and 2030, keeping the left-hander in Philadelphia for possibly the next six seasons after 2024.

Sánchez has slotted in as the Phillies’ No. 4 starter this season after making a marked improvement in his breakout 2023 campaign. Pitching to a 4-3 record this year,  he has a 2.91 ERA and 1.36 WHIP in 77 1/3 innings over 14 starts.

After changing his approach and adding more velocity this season, he struggled with walks early, issuing free passes at a 9.7 percent rate in his first eight starts. He has found his command again lately. In his last six outings, he has dropped his walk rate to 4.3 percent — closer to the 4.0 percent walk rate he posted last year.

An area the Dominican native has improved this season is the number of home runs he's giving up. After running a 1.45 HR/9 last year, leading to 16 home runs in 19 games (18 starts), he has a minuscule 0.12 HR/9 this season. He has allowed only one home run over his 14 starts.

Originally signed by the Tampa Bay Rays in 2013, the Phillies acquired Sánchez in 2019, sending infielder Curtis Mead to the Rays in return in the offseason trade. It seems like the deal has worked out well for the Phillies.