Anibal Sanchez (photo: H. Darr Beiser-USA TODAY Sports)

Greinke Sets the Market

The news that Zack Greinke is in line to sign a monster, record setting deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers; reportedly for 6 years, and $147 million, should spell the end of any talk that may surround the Detroit Tigers most recent pitching acquisition last summer…

That being Anibal Sanchez, of course.

With Greinke set to earn a whopping $24.5 million per year (on average) with his new contract, it’s pretty safe to assume that Sanchez will get very expensive. It would be hard to imagine that the Tigers would over-spend on a rather middle-of-the-road guy like Anibal. While he struggled a bit in his new surroundings, he settled in nicely – especially during the postseason. Despite the record (which screams of “lack of run support”) of 1-2, his ERA was a scant 1.77 in 3 postseason starts. But is that worth say, $15 or $16 million per season?

For probably 5 years?

Maybe to someone, he’s worth that. But I’m not sure it’s the Tigers who should be that someone. Sanchez is in a very good spot here: he’ll be 29 when the 2013 season starts, and for him a 5 year deal isn’t out of the realm of possibility. And the fact that the overall free agent pool for starting pitchers is reasonably shallow (quantity hammers quality here) puts Anibal in a position where he stands to make a lot of money, regardless of what he’s done in the past. It’s a matter of being in the right place at the right time, and Sanchez is there – thanks to Greinke.

So what do the Tigers do to fill out the rotation? Justin Verlander, Doug Fister, Max Scherzer, Rick Porcello and Drew Smyly are the guys who at least at the present time hold down the rotation (in my opinion, anyway). Do the Tigers try and trade for someone better?

Better? Better than who, Porcello or Smyly?

Hard to imagine the Tigers doing much else with the rotation as it sits now. Sanchez will likely be too expensive, especially in the long term. Especially expensive when you consider that Verlander will eventually be up for a new deal following the 2014 season. Just think about that potential market-setter.

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Follow me on Twitter, @DisplacedTgrFan.

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