Both Sanchez and Guthrie will be free agents this offseason and the Rockies will save $1.1M in the deal, according to ESPN.com's Buster Olney. Unfortunately, that's where the positives in this deal end for the Rockies. Sanchez (7.76 ERA) has been one of the only starting pitchers in baseball this year to actually pitch worse than Guthrie (6.35).
Both are rejects from arguably the two worst trades of this past offseason. The Rockies acquired Guthrie from Baltimore for Jason Hammel, who was having a breakout season until he injured his knee. Sanchez was acquired by Kansas City in a one-for-one swap with the Giants for Melky Cabrera, who was the All-Star Game MVP in Kansas City.
Guthrie's biggest problem with Colorado was pitching at Coors Field. His road ERA with the Rockies is 3.67, which is perfectly fine. His ERA at Coors Field is 9.50, so it's amazing he was even able to win a single game there. The ballpark went from not doing him any favors to completely taking Guthrie out of his game to taking up space in his head to the point where everyone thought it would just be better if he left town already. So, now that's what has happened. Guthrie will go to Kansas City and pitch against lineups that still aren't as good as the ones he faced in the AL East year after year prior to 2012 and larger ballparks as well. More than either of these two teams today, Guthrie is the real winner here.
Jonathan Sanchez has been so bad this year that it's almost hard to believe. His ERA is 7.76 and his WHIP is over 2.00. The Royals put him on the disabled list, gave him some time off, and he returned as the same terrible pitcher. Something has to be going on Sanchez, who had a 3.75 ERA from 2009-'11. His fastball velocity was never very high, but now his average fastball is 89 mph according to Fangraphs. The Rockies have essentially acquired a left-handed batting practice pitcher with no control (7.43 BB/9).
If there's one line that immediately comes to mind when thinking about this trade it has to be, "One man's garbage..." This trade is straight up junk-for-junk. You take my junk and i'll take yours and neither of us will have to deal with the baggage from those awful offseason trades anymore. Instead, we'll ride out the string with another bust, but it's better for now because it's not the bust we know. But, we will know soon enough. Get ready for Jon Sanchez at Coors Field, fans.