CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported today on Twitter that the Detroit Tigers offered Anibal Sanchez a contract last month:
#tigers a few weeks ago offered anibal sanchez $48M, 4 yrs. Agent told them that offer would insult anibal. Seeks 90M/6
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) December 3, 2012
We don’t know what the exact timeline on the offer was (Heyman says “a few weeks ago”) but it could have been what prompted Sanchez’s agent to announce to the world his contract demand of six years and $90 million. Or it could have been the Tigers reacting to that announcement with a “let’s get serious now” offer.
The Tigers’ proposed four year deal carries an annual value of $12 million which is probably on the extreme low end of deals that would be considered a reasonable offer. It’s especially low for an offering of only four years. I doubt the Tigers floated the number out as their bottom dollar, but the parameters have been set for a potential deal. Sanchez wants six years at $15 million per and the Tigers offered four years at $12 million. Simply splitting the difference would be five years at $13.5 million ($67.5 million total). That would probably be an overly simplistic way of looking at the whole situation, but it might serve as a reasonable guess as to where the two sides would eventually settle.
Sanchez rumors have seemed to quiet down over the past week or two, and it’s been thought that he’s waiting for Zack Greinke to set the market for top-dollar starting pitchers. This would also put Sanchez’s name at the top of the pitcher free agent list, giving him the undivided attention of every possible suitor.
The Tigers and Sanchez seem extremely far apart on their two offers, but I doubt very much that either party expected their first offer to be accepted. Sanchez has plenty of time to wait and see how the market for his services develops (there’s no sense in him leaving money on the table), and the Tigers are likely content enough with Rick Porcello and Drew Smyly to avoid a big overpay.
The lines have been drawn and each side is now in a holding pattern content to play the waiting game in hopes the market moves in their favor.