Oct 27, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Anibal Sanchez (19) throws against the San Francisco Giants during the first inning of game three of the 2012 World Series at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Blue Jays Free Agent Targets: Anibal Sanchez vs Edwin Jackson

It has only been a few short hours since we asked our astute readers who they felt was the best of the consolation prizes after Zack Greinke comes off the board. We offered up the options of Anibal Sanchez, Edwin Jackson, Shaun Marcum, Kyle Lohse, Hiroki Kuroda, and Ryan Dempster.

In that short period of time, the overwhelming leader has been Anibal Sanchez.

To be honest, while Marcum and Lohse are both respectable candidates, the choice really comes down to Jackson or Sanchez. Kuroda has already indicated he would work on a one-year deal, but considering that the Yankees made him a qualifying offer, the two parties are likely already working out an agreement for him to return to New York. Meanwhile, the 35-year-old Dempster showed that he was vastly overmatched once he was taken out of the National League Central. We could discuss Dan Haren here, but the 32-year-old will likely be overpaid to bring his diminishing velocity to a large market squad.

So we come around to Jackson and Sanchez both of whom are 29-years-old and both are sub .500 pitchers for their careers (Sanchez 48-51, Jackson 70-71).To get an accurate comparison of the two, we can only look at the last three season, as Sanchez missed almost all of 2008 and 2009 with injuries. That said, let’s square them off:

Record (A useless statistic, but a starting point nonetheless)
Sanchez – 30-34
Jackson – 32-32

Earned Run Average
Sanchez – 3.70
Jackson – 4.10

Adjusted ERA+
Sanchez – 109
Jackson – 100

WHIP
Sanchez – 1.296
Jackson – 1.353

SO/9
Sanchez – 8.1
Jackson – 7.5

BB/9
Sanchez – 2.8
Jackson – 3.0

HR/9
Sanchez – 0.8
Jackson – 1.0

fWAR – Accumuated
Sanchez – 12
Jackson – 10.5

Statistically speaking, Sanchez is the better candidate for the Blue Jays. He is less prone to the home run, which will come in handy pitching at Rogers Centre, as will his higher strike-out rate.

In regards to salary, he may also be the more realistic. Sanchez made $8 million in the 2012 season split between Miami and Detroit while Jackson was paid $11 million by the Nationals. I mention salary because it is the obvious hurdle that the Blue Jays will have to overcome in order to lure either candidate to Toronto. It is also worth mentioning that Jackson is dumped Scott Boras as a client due to the 1-year contract he received last season, while Sanchez is represented by SFX. Jackson will likely look to garner a multi-year deal this time around and will use his deal last season as a baseline for any new deals.

Regardless of who is the better target, Alex Anthopoulos and the Blue Jays need to show that they are willing to do what it takes to get some talented free agents to sign, something that they have yet to do in his the AA tenure. That includes beating out the big guns in Boston and Los Angeles that have similar needs.

That needs to change if the Blue Jays seriously want to contend in 2013.

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