The Detroit Tigers were given an opportunity by one of their free agents that the Texas Rangers weren’t given by Josh Hamilton.
On Thursday, reports surfaced that the Chicago Cubs had all but signed free agent right hander Anibal Sanchez to a five-year, $75 million contract. Instead of the deal getting done, however, Sanchez gave his former club, the Tigers, a final chance to match Chicago’s offer.
Though the Cubs eventually bumped their offer to $77.5 million, it ultimately wasn’t enough to get Sanchez out of Motown, who agreed to a new five-year, $80 million deal.
$16 million per year seems like a lot of money for a guy who has never thrown 200 innings in a season and who owns a losing record in his seven big league seasons. Of course, while it’s true that he’s never thrown 200 innings, Sanchez has thrown at least 195 innings in each of the past three years and has a career ERA of 3.75. He’ll be turning just 29 before Opening Day, so this is a guy very much in the prime of his career.
The Tigers have been adamant that Sanchez was the only starting pitcher they were interested in signing following a season when they acquired him from the Marlins. Though he struggled initially in Detroit, Sanchez pitched very well down the stretch aand threw 20 innings in the playoffs with an ERA just over one.
Sanchez falls into the middle of Detroit’s rotation and probably means the Tigers will look to trade one of their extra starters. In all likelihood, that guy is right hander Rick Porcello. Southpaw Drew Smyly would round out a rotation that also features Justin Verlander, Doug Fister, and Max Scherzer.