One of the Cubs top targets for the offseason has slipped through their fingers, but you can't knock their effort. Anibal Sanchez has reportedly signed with the Detroit Tigers of five-years, $80 million, signing for more than the $77.5 million offered by the Cubs. The righty, who was 9-13 with a 3.86 ERA last season, had narrowed down his choices between Detroit and Chicago before opting to return to the Tigers. The Cubs had been moving under the radar with the Sanchez deal, coming as a surprise for a team which has gone after low risk, high reward players throughout the offseason, adding Scott Feldman and Scott Baker to the rotation.
It is reported that Sanchez took Chicago's offer back to the Tigers to receive a matching offer, which he got. After receiving that news the Cubs then countered before Detroit offered Sanchez the $80 million deal which he took.
The deal was reported as all but done by several reporters on Twitter earlier this morning before quickly learning about his intent to stay in Detroit. Once again, Cubs fans had to endure having their optimism of a player coming to Chicago only to have those feelings dashed. The team reportedly traded for Dan Haren only to see a deal involving Carlos Marmol fall apart, and Ryan Dempster blocked a trade with the Atlanta Braves which would have netted the Cubs top pitching prospect Randall Delgado.
Although this acquisition confusion is getting old, missing out on Sanchez is not the worst thing to happen to the team. Although the former Marlin was regarded by most as the second-best free agent pitcher behind Zach Greinke, his performance does not merit such a contract. With a thin market, teams tend to overspend on players that do not deserve the lucrative deals they deserve, and Sanchez may be one of those cases.
The 28-year old boasts a losing record of 48-51 and a career ERA of 3.75. For over $15 million a season, one would expect a little more production than what Sanchez has given throughout his career. As the Cubs continue their rebuilding process, more money should be going to proven commodities, whether that comes in 2013 or 2014, and invest in the players they are building in the Majors and Minors.
This deal would have signaled a big signing for the Cubs and perhaps made people pay attention to the team again. But if it was going to cost that much, the Tigers can have him.
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