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Must. Keep. Calm.

I’ve been banging the Anibal Sanchez drum for most of the offseason, and it sounds like I might be getting my wish. According to Bob Nightengale and Ken Rosenthal, the Cubs are currently finalizing what would be a five-year deal for free agent starting pitcher Anibal Sanchez. There will be many updates.

UPDATE 1 (4:54pm CT): Ok, so your time-line is as follows – the Cubs and Tigers were both pushing hard for Sanchez, and as of 10 minutes ago, Rosenthal said the Tigers were still a possibility. Then Nightengale said the Cubs had broken through, and come to terms with Sanchez. The deal “could be” worth $75 million over five years, which would just be fantastic.

UPDATE 2 (4:56pm CT): Jon Heyman says the Cubs are indeed working hard on Sanchez, but currently deny they have a deal. Given how these things sometimes play out, your excitement should be kept tentatively in check.

UPDATE 3 (5:00pm CT): For those who’ve missed my earlier pushes for Sanchez, consider that he’s a 28-year-old starter who has been improving the last few years, and has been excellent the last two years. Given his age, I would love this signing for the Cubs, regardless of where they are in the rebuild.

UPDATE 4 (5:01pm CT): Heyman reiterates that this isn’t a done deal, and Sanchez’s agent says he’s still talking to other teams, including the Tigers.

UPDATE 5 (5:02pm CT): Worth noting that there was no equivocation in Nightengale’s reporting – he said the Cubs had agreed to terms with Sanchez, and the only thing left to do is a physical.

UPDATE 6 (5:03pm CT): Heyman wants it to be very clear that, from his perspective, nothing is final. Sources tell him the Tigers are still very much in it for Sanchez. You knew it wouldn’t be simple.

UPDATE 7 (5:06pm CT): Well, Matt Garza sure thinks Sanchez is coming here, as he just welcomed him on Twitter. Of course, Garza also welcomed Dan Haren.

UPDATE 8 (5:09pm CT): Jon Morosi agrees with Jon Heyman: not a done deal, according to sources. He cautions that it might be a long night. Damn it. I was supposed to go get Chipotle …

UPDATE 9 (5:15pm CT): For posterity, it’s worth noting that Jim Bowden also said that Sanchez “has signed” with the Cubs … in a tweet that has since been deleted.

UPDATE 10 (5:17pm CT): Well, Nightengale felt strongly enough about his report to write it up for USA Today. His source is “an official with direct knowledge.”

UPDATE 11 (5:21pm CT): This is a new media first – Matt Garza reports that he’s heard from a credible source that the deal is happening, and from a not-so-credible source that it’s not. What an age we live in.

UPDATE 12 (5:23pm CT): The Chicago media is entirely silent so far, which means either they can’t track anything down yet (unlikely), or they’ve been told to keep it zipped, and are obliging. I still expect them to chime in soon.

UPDATE 13 (5:24pm CT): That was fast – Dave Kaplan says he’s got very good sources telling him it’s not a done deal. The Cubs are trying to finalize it, but the Tigers are still in play. Grumble.

UPDATE 14 (5:27pm CT): I’m hoping that what we have here is the Cubs making an acceptable offer, and then Sanchez’s agent taking it back to the Tigers one last time to try and see if they’d top it. And from Kap: “Cubs told another agent for a free agent pitcher they were down the road w/Sanchez + would call if they lost out. Agent hasn’t heard back.” That’s good, at least.

UPDATE 15 (5:31pm CT): Like Nightengale, Rosenthal feels strongly enough to do the full write-up thing, but his version is that the Cubs and Sanchez are in serious discussions. The Tigers remain involved.

UPDATE 16 (5:33pm CT): Phil Rogers offers a report, but there’s not much new. The Cubs obviously aren’t offering so much as a whiff on this one.

UPDATE 17 (In line at Chipotle): Nightengale is sticking by his story so far, just now tweeting it out again and suggesting Hamilton signing was catalyst because it took Angels out of market for Sanchez.

UPDATE 18 (Still): Bruce Levine weighs in with a Detroit source (not Chicago?) who says they’ve not yet been informed they are out.

UPDATE 19 (Still): And Nightengale finally backtracks. He says Cubs thought they had a deal, but as I guessed, Detroit is being given opportunity to match.

UPDATE 20 (Still): Nightengale adds that Detroit was at four years, but if they go to five, he’ll sign with them.

UPDATE 21 (6:13pm CT): The nightmare tweet, from Nightengale: “The #Cubs, among others, did not know that #Tigers would have last chance to match. And the #Tigers have just bumped their offer to Sanchez.”

UPDATE 22 (6:15pm CT): Given how this has played out, I can’t help but wonder if Sanchez’s agent just played the Cubs, the Tigers, and the media like fiddle. Maybe Sanchez desperately wanted to re-sign with the Tigers, and desperately wanted that fifth year. And his agent may have just pulled it off.

UPDATE 23 (6:20pm CT): I didn’t want to say it earlier for a (ridiculous) fear of jinxing it, but now that the cat is out of the bag … 5 years and $75 million in this market for Sanchez is a freaking steal. Sigh.

UPDATE 24 (6:22pm CT): Nightengale says it isn’t a matter of the Cubs getting played, it was just a matter of the Tigers reassessing in light of the Cubs’ offer. Keep in mind: if the Cubs got played, so did Nightengale.

UPDATE 25 (6:48pm CT): Nightengale has a quote from Sanchez’s agent (gee, imagine that: Nightengale is suddenly getting lots of quotes from Sanchez’s agent – can’t imagine who the leak was … ) that negotiations with the Cubs and Tigers are ongoing, and Anibal has not decided.

UPDATE 26 (6:58pm CT): Gordon Wittenmyer checks in, saying the Cubs and Tigers are both in plan, and it may just be a waiting game for all sides at this point. For my part, by the way, I have heard absolutely nothing on this one.

UPDATE 27 (7:12pm CT): Dan Plesac says his gut tells him Sanchez will re-sign with Detroit now that the Tigers have countered the Cubs’ offer (is Plesac an insider?). Bruce Levine says someone must have really throw Nightengale a curveball because “he doesn’t make these kind of mistakes.”

UPDATE 28 (7:14pm CT): Paul Sullivan on my agent suspicions: “Cubs not commenting on premature report of Sanchez signing. Sounds like a double cross by the agent. Too bad.”

UPDATE 29 (7:29pm CT): Kap has discussed this with Nightengale, who says if the money is even, Sanchez is choosing the Tigers. Kap implies that there’s a decision coming tonight. I can’t help but believe the Cubs will lose him if the numbers stay at 5/$75M.

UPDATE 30 (8:44pm CT): Nightengale is starting to waiver in his confidence that we’ll hear tonight. He says he was told that, but he obviously had wrong information earlier (implying that he could be wrong again this time). He added that it’s “getting late.”

UPDATE 31 (8:53pm CT): Kap tweets the following, which is only applicable here by inference: “Trying to text/work the phones while hosting 3 hr radio show. Hearing Cubs are in play on P Mike Adams (Rangers) Carlos Villanueva (Tor).” Is Villanueva the back-up pitcher about which Kap spoke earlier? Kind of feels that way, even though he and Sanchez are not in the same class. It would be hard to imagine the Cubs talking both Sanchez and Villanueva into signing on when the Cubs “already have” five starters (even though it would be awesome to get both). Thus, seems like Villanueva is indeed the back-up plan.

UPDATE 32 (9:19pm CT): I’m listening to Kap on WGN Sports Night now, and Kap’s talking to Tony Paul, a Detroit writer, who says he’s not surprised the Tigers are getting the final chance to match the Cubs because Sanchez loved his time in Detroit. He’s surprised that the Tigers are willing to talk about 5/$75 million, but he doesn’t know how high the Tigers are willing to go. He didn’t think the Tigers were willing to go any higher than four years and $60 million.

UPDATE 33 (9:25pm CT): Tony says he doesn’t expect anything tonight. It could come down to Tigers blinking and ponying up extra cash, or Sanchez blinking and going for the money with the Cubs. I’m getting the sense that he really doesn’t think the Tigers are going to outbid the Cubs on Sanchez … but that doesn’t mean the Cubs will get him.

UPDATE 34 (9:41pm CT): Kap adds on the radio that he hears Villanueva is not being viewed as a fallback for Sanchez. The Cubs want them both.

UPDATE 35 (9:45pm CT): Paul Sullivan offers his write-up, and he says the Cubs “aren’t optimistic” about landing Sanchez at this point, and he’s “expected” to go back to the Tigers.

UPDATE 36 (10:00pm CT): A humorous exchange – Matt Garza tweets that he’s anxiously awaiting word on the Sanchez deal, and then Carrie Muskat tweets at him that maybe Garza should give Sanchez a call with a sales pitch. Too funny, too true.

UPDATE 37 (10:45pm CT): And Nightengale corrects himself for the second time today, saying that we aren’t going to hear tonight. Talks with the Cubs and Tigers are expected to resume tomorrow. Grumble.

UPDATE 38 (7:30am CT): Nothing significant overnight, as expected. I’ll likely be making a new post when we get an update today. And I’ll try to do normal posting, too, as if I’m not just obsessing about Sanchez.

  • mikelach13

    Please God make this happen!

    I will give a Ned Beatty Deliverance Squeal for the ages!!!

  • JR

    Please just tell me he doesn’t get a NTC.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      If an NTC is what it takes to get him over the Tigers, then by all means include it!

  • Dylan

    You know what? I’m going stay off Twitter for the next hour or so. I can’t watch it.

    • King Jeff

      You are a wise man.

  • jayrig5

    Why did it have to be Nightengale and Bowden running with it? I’d be so much more confident if it was Rosenthal/Olney. Heyman sucks. That is all.

    • Lou

      Well, he spoke to Anibal’s agent..so. :(

      • jayrig5

        Not saying he doesn’t talk to people. He also flips on a ton of stuff. Grilli deal being the latest example. Gets used as a mouthpiece quite often. (He was all over the place on the Theo/Cubs story last fall.)

  • mak

    Given the growing prevalence of teams locking up their aces before they hit FA, this fits in the long term (and obviously short term) plan. Only locks him up until age 33, at an extremely reasonable price (if it is $15M/year). What’s not to like?

  • hansman1982

    HOORAY – A REPORTED TRANSACTION BY THE CUBS THAT MAY NOT ACTUALLY BE THERE!!!!

    ITS A FESTIVUS MIRACLE!!!!

    • cjdubbya

      I like the cut of your jib.

  • http://windycitysportswonk.blogspot.com Myles – WCSW

    This is the greatest signing ever!!!!!!!

  • Gcheezpuff

    Taking Sanchez off the Market might make way for my Garza for Olt fantasy become a reality.

  • Corey

    So, if this happens to actually happen.

    Sanches

    Garza

    Shark

    Wood?

    and….who?

    Not to shabby.

    • Justin

      Feldman and/or Baker when he gets healthy so will move Wood to pen. Wood probably will spot start since there is no lefties in the rotation.

      • Chris

        Maybe them DFA Beliveau was a sign that they thought they could get sanchez and put Wood in the pen.

      • Corey

        ahhh, okay. If only Dempster was there to :(

        Dempster Sanches Shark Garza wood/baker/feldman sounds stupid.

  • Justin

    Come on boys, work your magic and sign him!!!

  • Patrick G

    Matt Garza ‏@Gdeuceswild
    Congrats to the newest cub! anibel Sanchez! #GoCubsGo

    • King Jeff

      Garza is even more “fly of the handle” than everyone else on twitter. He was also all over welcoming Dan Haren to the Cubs. Also, he spelled Haren’s name wrong when he did it too.

      • hansman1982

        Ya, player tweets are very unreliable.

        • King Jeff

          There is going to be some serious egg on some faces if this falls through. ESPN is reporting it as done deal.

          • Lou

            Ouch!

          • hansman1982

            hahaha, ESPN…

            that is all. ;)

            • King Jeff

              Hah, yeah, I agree. It’s only that if they are reporting it, then you know everyone else is already reporting it.

  • cubchymyst

    What is the maximum people are willing to go? I’d add an option year for a 6th if needed, or go 5 year 80 million.

  • abe

    Ha,

    We steel Anibal Sanchez from the tigers. Now we should trade Garza to them for Nick Castellanos. Now that would be a Thoe move!!!

  • Muck

    Yeah theres your big deal all you guys wanted you still mad at Theo?

    • Morken

      If such a move goes through, it’s a huge boost to the rebuilding process( wether you like Sanchez or not). It becomes a deceleration that come the 2014 season, the Cubs will be poised to contend.

  • patrick

    its done…

    JimBowdenESPNxm JIM BOWDEN
    Anibal Sanchez has signed with the Chicago Cubs
    22 minutes ago

  • Vulcan

    Come on Cubbies!

  • http://bleachernation.com someday…2015?

    If this falls through im no longer trusting anyone when it comes to reported deals. I will have to wait until I see Theo and Jed holding up the jersey and shaking hands with the player in the introductory press conference. This is what it’s come to. :(

  • http://bleachernation.com frank hutch

    With sanchez now you don t trade garza. You extend him and build off the two. Go out next make a trade for david price. Price garza and sanchez. With all the postion players coming. Looking good. Contenders in 2015

  • hansman1982

    So if the deal falls through is it the fault of:

    1. Twitter (because free agents and teams don’t want people to know they are negotiating until it becomes Facebook Official)
    2. Theo for not trying hard enough
    3. Ricketts for being too dang cheap.

    • Matt

      Don’t forget to blame Dempster too. Somehow, if this falls through, I’m sure it will be his fault as well.

      • DarthHater

        Yeah! Where’s my pitchfork?

        • TWC

          I blame Hendry.

          • JR

            Me too. If Hendry would have drafted better we wouldn’t have to be in a bidding war with shithole Detroit.

            • Scotti

              The best drafting teams also have good drafting budgets. And the best drafting teams also add free agents.

    • cRAaZYHORSE

      Yes to a certain extent you are correct. last year is no one fault but the front office. The same is true for this year . last years Front office put a team together with over a hundred loss season . This years team looks no better as it stand but with one or two major signing can help ease the pain in a rebuild mode. Unlike some people on this site when the Front office do deals that help the team overall, its good, when they do bad deals they should get hammered. if the Cubs keep adding DL pitchers and keep giving limp wrist batters chances then The front office deserve the hate.

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    Is that a reasonable price for Sanchez or is overpaying? I wouldn’t like the signing if the Cubs went any higher. $15 mil for a guy who is on a terrible team isn’t what I like to see.

    • Serious Cubs Fan

      I just don’t see Sanchez as a #2. He’s a very good pitcher but not on a WS contending team a #2, he’s more of a number a great #3

      • King Jeff

        I think he was the number two on the Tigers this year, and he was probably their best starter in the playoffs.

    • Whiteflag

      Well lets hope, they aren’t planning on being terrible for five more years.

  • Whiteflag

    Qdoba is better. (all about the queso)

    • Patrick G

      Moes and Qdoba top 2 very close tie

      • Whiteflag

        Moes is disgusting where I live. Heard of people liking it other places though.

        • Patrick G

          I live in New York, at least the one around here is amazing

        • King Jeff

          I’ve been to three of them here in Florida, as long as it’s not a mall franchise, it’s been good.

  • Byron Browne

    Quick! Someone look up Sanchez’s stats so they can start bad-mouthing the FO for making this deal! It’a the Cub fans’ way!

    • Scotti

      This is a gamble but not because of stats. He would have been off the board long ago if he wasn’t a health risk.

  • Bren

    So does this make a Garza deal (as in trade,not extension) less likely?

  • Josh

    Not again……….

    First the numerous Soler rumors, then Dempster trade, Haren trade, and now this…

    • Patrick G

      Atleast Soler worked out

  • TakingWrigleyToSaoPaulo

    Cut supply with same demand (cubs were latent and not built in). Basic economics, price will go up…

  • fromthemitten

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3lqMRHwGsRA <- just get your burrito drone bomb'd

  • http://bleachernation.com frank hutch

    Is this how every deal this FO does goes down because its unbelievably frusterating!

  • tired of premature reports

    how bout we wait to announce signings/trades/anything until it actually happens..

    thanks

    • hansman1982

      the Cubs haven;t announced shit and every leak prior to this (which I don’t know where it’s coming from has NOT been from the Cubs front office.

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    Would thesigning Sanchez cost the cubs a #2 draft pick? because if he does I don’t find this signing to be as attractive

    • cjdubbya

      Wasn’t eligible for a qualifying offer

      • King Jeff

        Yes, no q.o. He didn’t pitch for Detroit the whole season. so no compensation. Not that the Cubs should shy from him for that reason anyway.

    • Mick

      No, since Sanchez wasn’t with the Tigers for the full season they weren’t able to make him a qualifying offer.

    • abe

      Thats a joke it a great trade off

    • Gcheezpuff

      Nope, he wasn’t with Detroit for the full season. No draft pick.

  • DocPeterWimsey

    I hope that this pans out, although I also hope that the Cubs didn’t go too overboard on Sanchez financially. Still, Sanchez is really the one big free agent out there that I want on the Cubs. (OK, Greinke might have been nice: but I knew that his contract would be ridiculous.)

    • TakingWrigleyToSaoPaulo

      Overboard financially? We are a large market team with money to spend and just got a 28 year old number 2 for 15 a year. As a reference point Dempster at 36 gets 13+. Good deal.

      • DocPeterWimsey

        Some “SPEND SPEND SPEND!” types had advocated offering Sanchez $>20M a year. That would be a bit much, in my opinion.

        • willis

          Agree with this…$15per though? I’m way behind that move.

        • Whiteflag

          Far market value for a win is about 5 million (i believe). So if his WAR last year was 3.8, 19-20 million per year doesn’t seem that far fetched.

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