Notes and analysis on the market for starting pitchers, near the end of Day 1 at the general managers’ meetings in Indian Wells, Calif.:
— Free agent Anibal Sanchez is in a “favorable position” within the marketplace, according to one club official. Sanchez may not reach the $100 million mark, but multiple people within the industry believe he’s headed for a deal similar to the one C.J. Wilson signed last offseason: five years, $77.5 million.
Sanchez, only 28, has a chance to break the $80 million mark, for a number of reasons: He pitched well during the 2012 postseason, he proved that he can succeed in the American League, and the right teams – the Dodgers, Rangers, Red Sox, Blue Jays, and Tigers – are interested.
— Because Sanchez’s value point is more defined, it won’t be a surprise if he signs before Zack Greinke, who is viewed as the top free-agent starter.
— In some respects, the free-agent market won’t open in earnest until the Tampa Bay Rays trade a starting pitcher, like Jeremy Hellickson or James Shields. Clubs may prefer to work out a trade with the Rays – for a lower-salaried player – rather than invest tens of millions in Greinke, Sanchez or Kyle Lohse.
— Dan Haren, a free agent after the Angels declined his option, could be a secondary choice for teams that whiff on Greinke and Sanchez. Haren is coming off a disappointing season in which he showed diminished stuff, but the need for pitching is such that it won’t be a surprise if he signs a two-year contract. The Padres are an intriguing possibility; Haren, a native of Southern California, knows San Diego executives Josh Byrnes and A.J. Hinch from their time together in Arizona.
— Missouri resident Shaun Marcum, a free agent, has interest in pitching for the St. Louis Cardinals or Kansas City Royals, a source said.
— Twins general manager Terry Ryan is looking for multiple starting pitchers. The organizational depth chart at the position is exceedingly thin.
— Jon Paul Morosi