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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.

  • Justin

    Man this sucks. All Detroit has to say is they would give him 5 years and he will sign. I don’t know why they wouldn’t jump all over that

  • David

    Nightengale, FWIW: Tigers have bumped their offer. Cubs didn’t know Sanchez’ agent would go back to Tigers. If true, shame on Cubs.

    • sclem21

      shame on cubs???? how? you don’t know what you’re talking about.

  • willis

    Told you.

  • http://www.survivingthalia.com Mike Taylor (no relation)

    That is why I suggested 6 years / $90M. It’ll end up being a bargain when qualifying offers go up each year.

  • Jimbo

    Just tuned in, by the time I got to the last update there may have been steam coming from my ears. Is “Twitter” greek for goat? seems like leaks are destroying us……..

  • Dustin

    If Sanchez dont give the Cubs a chance to counter then they did this just to up the Tigers offer

  • https://www.facebook.com/anotherspacesong Bret Epic

    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.” If this is true, I might just stop following Cubs trade rumors and check their roster on cubs.com once a week or so. It’s become quite heartbreaking hearing of these positive things “happening” and it turning to shit.

    • DarthHater

      Okay, but why would you give any credence to a douchebag who has already proved today that he pulls his tweets out of his rectum?

      • https://www.facebook.com/anotherspacesong Bret Epic

        I think whenever someone hears about this type of thing and it seems to come from enough sources to become a bleacher nation post, people get anxious and excited. In no way is this Mr. Taylors fault since he’s just reporting what he hears, it’s just a let down every time something like this happens.

        • DarthHater

          Umm, I was referring to Nightengale, not Brett. You think I want to feel the banhammer? ;-)

          • https://www.facebook.com/anotherspacesong Bret Epic

            I think all of us ended up with our hopes up. It’s bound to happen when it’s Cubs news and as fans, we feel a great deal of anticipation in bettering our team. I guess it was easy for me to feel let down since it sounded like the Cubs were pretty confident. Who knows, we’ll see what happens.

  • willis

    This is going to be mega disappointing.

  • David

    So Brett, what did you order?

  • willis

    Wow, The Cubs just got played.

  • Ryan

    Yeah Brett, burrito or bowl?

  • RY22

    If I were cubs FO I would spread the word that this agent plays games

    • Whiteflag

      Don’t they all.

      • RY22

        from the reports im seeing they mislead the cubs… theres a difference between fielding the best offer and betraying trust to screw another team over

  • abe

    so up the offer

    • King Jeff

      From what we’ve heard, it doesn’t seem the Cubs have that option, as crazy as that seems.

  • TakingWrigleyToSaoPaulo

    Not sure why I ever thought Twitter was a reliable media source. It’s clear when it comes to Cub’s deals it’s really just a mechanism to play with fans who ave been waiting 104 years for something to cheer about.

    • DarthHater

      Not sure why I ever thought Twitter was a reliable media source.

      Hmmm…

  • JR

    I would love to beat the hell out of Bob Nightengale. What a turd.

  • AD

    I am getting really tired of all of these false deals. This could only happen to a Cubs fans.

  • Brad

    Dude these false deals are enough for you to want to punch someone. Whose fault is it that this is always happening to us?

    • AD

      Was at the highest of highs this afternoon. Now at the lowest of lows. Not even Theo can save us.

      • willis

        Nobody can. This is ridiculous though…all these “deals” get leaked, and never happen This doesn’t happen to other organizations. Not at this rate. It’s enough to drive you nuts.

    • DarthHater

      Whose fault is it that this is always happening to us?

      LeBron

  • David

    Danny Knobler says seems like a reasonable chance sanchez stays with Detroit.

  • Stinky Pete
  • Mike S

    In a world where no one lied…

    Cubs Rotation:
    Garza
    Sanchez
    Haren
    Samardzja
    Delgado

    Sigh…

  • Kansas Cubs Fan

    Who ever is leaking this stuff to the media needs their tongue ripped out.

    Ricketts should put wire taps on every FO members phone.

    • DarthHater

      Well, since Sanchez’s agent apparently was sharing the Cubs’ offer with other teams, I’m not sure any leak can be blamed on our FO.

      • Kansas Cubs Fan

        True but still annoying.

  • Riggs

    FO got played like a fiddle…How do you let this happen? Would an agent really be so stupid to lose all credibility?

    • DarthHater

      Would an agent really be so stupid to lose all credibility?

      I wouldn’t be surprised if Theo is on the phone speaking those very words to Sanchez’s agent right now.

    • David

      Yeah, I’m not sure what to think. This isn’t the Cubs FO first rodeo. It’s not like they’re going “OMG!!!! We’re gonna sign our first free agent who isn’t on waivers, from another continent, or coming off arm re-attachment surgery!!!! OMGZ!!!!!! Wait, what? You’re not taking our money? Well, shit.”

      But, it sure kinda looks that way, if Sanchez goes back to Detroit.

  • Brian Peters

    So, has he signed with the Tigers?

    • Kansas Cubs Fan

      No news yet just speculation.

  • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com/ Kyle

    Cubs FO can be as angry as they want at the agent, but it doesn’t matter because there will always be more teams that need good players than good players available.

    If they don’t want to get used, don’t put themselves in such an awful situation where they have little appeal to a free agent.

    • Randy

      That’s a stupid comment. He will sign with the Cubs if Detroit doesn’t match. He just played in a WS for them. It’s not like he is Picking St. Louis or NY over Chicago. He is asking a team that he enjoyed playing for to match the offer before he switches team. It has nothing to do with not being appealing. If that was the case, he wouldn’t go for the Cubs either way.

    • King Jeff

      As crappy as that sounds, it’s a pretty good assessment Kyle. The Cubs have to know that they aren’t the most desirable place to play right now, and they are probably going to have to overpay for any top-level guys. This probably won’t be the only time that the Cubs get used as leverage. The only silver lining here is that the Cubs have also been in contact with another starter who was put on the back burner when they thought they could get Sanchez.

      One other thing, this is a free agent signing, and any leaks on this are more than likely completely unrelated to the Dempster and Marmol leaks, even if it is extremely frustrating.

  • Brad

    Hey at least we are not the Rangers, they got the ultimate shaft. Stealing the best player from their direct rivalry Lmfao. I bet Ryan is steaming.

    • David

      That’s like saying, at least the Cubs aren’t Ned Beatty in Deliverance, they’re just Andy Dufresne in the laundry scene. Not much consolation there.

  • miggy80

    Well if anybody wanted to know what it’s like to be a MLB Prez or GM. I hope the front office has them stress balls.

  • chad

    $75 mil for 5 years on a sub .500 career pitcher, no thanks.

  • Patrick G

    Bob Nightengale ‏@BNightengale
    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.

  • DarthHater

    So why don’t the Cubs just call the Tigers now and tell them that they have withdrawn their offer to Sanchez, so there’s no longer any reason for Detroit to give him 5 years? No reason two can’t play the game.

    • Jason

      That would be interesting…

    • David

      They couldn’t call Detroit, but they could leak it to the press. Calling Detroit would be collusion.

    • Kansas Cubs Fan

      That sounds like something a child would do. I don’t think these grown men are that ignorant.

      • DarthHater

        That sounds like something a child would post.

        In any event, it’s bullshit. If you don’t want an agent turning your offer into an auction, the logical thing is to tell him that if he shares it with other teams, the offer is withdrawn. Since this agent did just that, the offer should be publicly yanked. That’s just hardball negotiating.

        • Kansas Cubs Fan

          How?

          And I think Detroit would see right though it, knowing the Cubs won’t pull their offer in hopes Sanchez chooses the them.

  • Dustin

    Looks like he will be a Tiger,if he isn’t gonna let the Cubs counter then its done if the Tigers offer a 5th year which is being reported that they will.

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