Multiple reports have floated out this afternoon concerning Anibal Sanchez and how close he is to signing a deal with the Chicago Cubs. It was initially reported that a five-year deal had been reached, but word started coming out that the deal wasn’t yet done.
And the #Cubs turn out to be the second mystery team of the day, reaching agreement on five-year deal with Anibal Sanchez
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) December 13, 2012
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 13, 2012
#tigers are very much in anibal mix, sources say. game not over yet.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) December 13, 2012
Five years and $75 million dollars has been my personal jumping off point for a while now. That’s a deal with an average annual value of $15 million. Sanchez, who will be just 29 next year, is still in the prime of his career (and would spend the bulk of the five year deal that way). He’s been worth an average of four wins over the past three seasons and, injury history aside, would appear to be a relative bargain at $15 million per season.
The Tigers will need to figure for arbitration increases for Doug Fister and Max Scherzer over the next couple years (to say nothing of long-term free agent salaries for them and Justin Verlander), so it would be difficult to commit too much money to Sanchez for too many years. But if they’re afforded the opportunity to sign Sanchez for that same 5-year, $75 million contract, they should do it.
The Angels struck big today with the signing of Josh Hamilton, and the Royals made themselves a threat (however small) with their acquisition of James Shields and Wade Davis earlier in the week. If the Tigers are really, really serious about winning a ring (and doing it in the next few years), signing Sanchez to a non-overpay contract sounds like a solid next step (though admittedly not a requirement). We’ll see if Dave Dombrowski rolls up his sleeve and ups the ante.