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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Tags: Anibal Sanchez Detroit Tigers Zach Greinke

  • John Verburg

    I don’t want to think about it. In fact, the Tigers are either going to have to skyrocket their payroll towards 200 million in the next two or three years, or face the harsh reality that trading one of Verlander/Cabrera is almost necessary

    • chrisHannum

      That is the argument that I made earlier this month… The smart move will be to deal Verlander before the Dodgers give him $180 million over 6 years. But none of us actually want to think about that – nor, I’m sure, does Mike Ilitch.

  • beelza

    They need to sign either Soriano or Sanchez. Maybe they can sign Anibal to the deal he wants, sans any player movement clauses, and trade him away in 2 years. Obviously, I;m guessing. Tigers wasted a golden opportunity this past season. No Texas, no LAA, weak NYY squad, only to be swept – unbelievable. Worst part is the manager is now 1 for 9 in world series games. This fact alone, may compel Ilitch to just blow the roof off of the Tigers clubhouse payroll, especially if Nolan Ryan sn’t just blustering about his rumored moves.

  • chrisHannum

    The sad thing is that while Greinke is undeniably the best pitcher on this year’s free agent market – he is – maybe – a top-10 pitcher overall. Fangraphs has him 7th in total WAR 2010-2012 among starters, but that’s due to a huge boost from the ERA-FIP conversion: his ERA over that span was 3.83. Was he honestly better than Jered Weaver, who threw more innings with a 2.73? A lot of guys (and their agents) will be looking at this contract and arguing that they have been as good as or better than Greinke, so they ought to get paid like Greinke.