Phillies and Christopher Sánchez agree to extension

Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Cristopher Sanchez throws to a Milwaukee Brewers batter during the first inning of a baseball game Tuesday, June 4, 2024, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Laurence Kesterson)

The Philadelphia Phillies have seen enough from starting pitcher Christopher Sánchez (in a good way).

On the heels of Phillies legend Cole Hamels‘ celebrated retirement, Jon Heyman of the NY Post has reported that the Phillies and Sánchez have agreed to a four-year extension to avoid future rounds of arbitration.

The team then confirmed this just a couple of hours later on Saturday morning.

Phillies’ Sánchez made himself undeniable

Following an intriguing 2023 campaign featuring a 3.44 ERA and 8.7 K/9 through nineteen appearances, Sánchez didn’t need to worry about making the ’24 club; however, his standing in the starting rotation was a bit more precarious.

Well, any doubts the Phillies may have had evaporated. Through fourteen starts in 2024, Sánchez’s 2.91 ERA ties Chris Sale for the 13th-lowest in the MLB.

With only one home run allowed, his 0.116 HR/9 ranks first in the MLB. In fact, Sánchez remains the only pitcher with 40+ innings pitched and one-homer or less allowed – only rivaled by Boston’s Tanner Houck 0.186 HR/9 through 96+ innings pitched.

Phillies Christopher sanchez
Philadelphia Phillies starter Cristopher Sanchez pitches against the Tampa Bay Rays during the first inning of a baseball game Thursday, July 6, 2023, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius)

This isn’t a small sample size, either. With 77 and 1/3 innings pitched, Sánchez ranks second among Phillies’ starters in runs allowed (31) behind just Ranger Suárez (21). When your splits start to rival Zack Wheeler, you’ve earned a payday.

While we wait for the contract details…

It’s worth discussing payroll, too. The Phillies are paying Tijuan Walker and Aaron Nola $42.5MM in 2024. That duo has allowed 25 homers in 147 innings. Meanwhile, Sánchez is on the hook for $753K and has pitched his way to a new contract, deservedly so.

That’s less an indictment on Nola or Walker, who will find their way, but more praise for Sánchez, who just as likely could have been heading into the Trade Deadline as a replacement-level player.

Coming into the season, the 27-year-old was expected mainly to function as a 5th starter but has far outshone that role. If not for the Cy Young-level success of both Suárez and Wheeler, the meteoric rise of Sánchez might be the story of the 2024 Phillies.

Well, now he’s getting paid and the Phillies have one less hole to fill come July 30th.

The team will be hosting a press conference at 1:30PM EST today to discuss the extension.

AP Photo/Laurence Kesterson