In an unusual turn of events, Anibal Sanchez is returning to the Detroit Tigers on a 5-year, $80M deal. This move comes on the heels of the Cubs offering Sanchez a 5-year, $75M contract on Thursday. What most people didn’t know was that Sanchez planned on giving the Tigers a chance to match his best offer all along.
Not only did the Tigers match it, but they gave him an extra $1M/year. At $16M/year, the 28-year old Sanchez will help anchor what is easily the best rotation in baseball. Anibal joins Justin Verlander, Doug Fister, Max Scherzer and one of Rick Porcello or Drew Smyly. Plan on it being the latter.
The signing of Sanchez very likely means the end for Rick Porcello as a Tiger. Look for Detroit to quickly get active on the trade market to move the 23-year old.
As recently as yesterday I was convinced that Sanchez would be overpaid out of the Tigers’ comfort zone. As his price began to fall in line with reasonableness, the Tigers were pulled back into the mix.
As a fan of the Tigers, you have to love that Anibal gave them a shot to match his best deal. As a fan of the Cubs, this move has to sit very poorly.
Sanchez has a lifetime 48-51 record, almost all of that with the Florida/Miami Marlins. He sports a career 3.75 ERA and 1.35 WHIP. He became one of the heroes down the stretch in 2012 for the Tigers with a great finish and tremendous playoff performance.
What I find interesting is that the Tigers potentially ‘overpaid’ for Sanchez. Consider this, Bob Nightengale of USA Today tweets that Detroit’s original offer to Sanchez was 4 years, $48M. The Tigers ramped that up aggressively to land the right-hander.
If he was apparently willing to play for the lowly Cubs for $75M over the same amount of years, then it seems as though he would have inked with the Tigers for less for a chance at a ring. One thing remains a constant with the regime in Detroit these days though, money rarely matters, as much as they’d like you to think that it does.
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