Instant Post-Mortem on Anibal Sanchez and the Chicago Cubs

The frustration remains too fresh to offer much beyond some bulleted thoughts on the last 24 hours, but I wanted to give you something immediately, and in the moment …

  • It’s great that the Cubs were targeting someone like Anibal Sanchez with a solid offer, but I’m not much for moral victories right now. I like the message it sends about the Cubs’ 2014 intentions, but that doesn’t make me any less bummed about losing out on the guy that was probably the single best free agent available for the Cubs’ needs and direction. I figured they were going to be fielding a competitive team in 2014 anyway, so this doesn’t prove much to me that I didn’t already believe about this front office. They’ve got a plan, and it doesn’t involve being terrible for another three years.
  • It’s important to point out the most logical chain of events here: Sanchez always wanted to stay with the Tigers, and the Tigers weren’t willing to go up to five years. So his agent shopped Sanchez to teams in an effort to get that five year offer, which he did, from the Cubs, for about $75 million. He took that offer back to the Tigers, applied some pressure via the media to get the Tigers to add that fifth year. He let the Cubs try and top it, which maybe they did with a five-year, $77.5 million offer. The agent went back to the Tigers, who upped it to $80 million, and the deal was done.
  • If that’s how things happened – and it is the most logical narrative – the Cubs probably never had a meaningful shot at Sanchez. It’s unfortunate that it was erroneously reported that they were getting him, but it sounds like they might never have gotten him. Certainly we can’t say that the Cubs would have gotten him if they’d upped their offer to 5/$80 million, because Sanchez had a clear preference for the Tigers.
  • That said, I’m still frustrated as hell. At $16 million per year, Sanchez needs to average only 3 WAR per year during his age 29, 30, 31, 32, and 33 seasons to earn his contract – and that’s being a bit unfair, because it assumes that the value of a win will hold steady at $5.5 million over the next five years, when it’s actually probably going to increase dramatically (making his contract even easier to “earn”). Given that he was worth 4.4 WAR in 2011 and 3.8 WAR in 2012, I’d say he’s a very fair bet to earn his money, if he stays healthy. Sanchez isn’t an ace, but he could have been a very important piece going forward. Let’s not play the jilted girlfriend here, claiming we didn’t really want him anyway (“He’s not even a number one!”).
  • Get ready to hear about the Cubs’ failing to close another deal that leaked to the media, with references to the Atlanta/Dempster trade and the Marmol/Haren swap. You can ignore those comparisons, however, because you know that the Atlanta/Dempster deal was leaked by Atlanta, and the Marmol/Haren trade was leaked by Marmol. The former fell through because Dempster never really wanted to go to Atlanta, and the latter fell through because the Cubs pulled out after seeing Haren’s medicals. It’s an unfortunate coincidence, but those stories have absolutely nothing to do with this one.
  • And, with that, I’m back to the third bullet. I guess I can’t blame the Cubs for not landing Sanchez – a guy is gonna go where a guy wants to go. The Cubs tried, made a solid offer (higher than any other team but Detroit – the Cubs are developing something of a second place curse), but came up short. Would I have offered to top that 5/$80 million offer? You know what, I probably would have. I probably would have gone to 6/$90 million, because I think it’s pretty easy to see how thin the free agent market is getting down the road, and I can see the direction salaries are going. But I also know that I don’t have half the information that the Cubs’ front office does, and there could be any number of reasons they were unwilling to add that sixth year (very few teams will ever considering going beyond five years for a pitcher, and I can understand that). Even if the Cubs had gone to six years, we’ll never know if it would have made any difference.
  • Where do the Cubs go from here? Well, Dave Kaplan said they had a back-up plan in place, and said separately that they were pursuing Carlos Villanueva. Maybe that back-up plan is Edwin Jackson, and maybe they get both him and Villanueva. Does that salve your wounds? Sure. But that’s exceedingly unlikely to happen. The Cubs haven’t been connected to Jackson yet in any plausible rumors, so we’ll just have to wait and see – they hadn’t been connected to Sanchez until yesterday, either. Odds remain strong that we’ll see the Cubs pick up another mid-tier Villanueva type, and that’ll be that for the rotation. Dreams of what might have been with Sanchez in the rotation will linger throughout 2013, unless, of course, he gets hurt.
  • On the media piece of this … whatever. I strongly suspect Bob Nightengale got played by Sanchez’s agent (either directly, or indirectly by way of a Cubs official), and he probably went further in his report than he should have. This is why we don’t get excited by the first whiff of a “done deal” anymore. We learn about it, we consider it, we discuss it, and we wait for something a bit more official. Some folks will continue to blame The Twitter, in ignorance of the fact that there are people behind those Twitters making decisions about what to tweet.
  • Phil Rogers and George Ofman say Theo Epstein and some Ricketts family representatives went to Miami yesterday to try and convince Sanchez to sign. Once again, you can’t argue there wasn’t a serious effort here. But I just can’t bring myself to pass out the participation trophy today. Maybe tomorrow.
  • I’m not mad at the front office. I’m sure no one is more disappointed today than they are. I’m not mad at Sanchez, either. He wanted to get paid, and he wanted to stay in Detroit – given their current level of competitiveness, I can’t totally blame him. It’s a good team he’s going back to, and for a lot of money.

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

313 responses to “Instant Post-Mortem on Anibal Sanchez and the Chicago Cubs”

  1. Smackafilieyo

    What if annibal and the cubs front office were in on it the whole time to stick it to the tigers? And also can’t wait to see him pitch next year and have an era of 6 with a blown out arm. More money doesn’t gaurrantee wins.

    1. Gcheezpuff

      I doubt that, but it is possible that the tigers called the Cubs (or vice versa) and said back off and we will work out a deal for porchello. Not allowed, I am sure, but i’d find it hard to believe these types of conversations happen all the time.

  2. Dustin

    Interestingly, those are the same numbers of Justin Verlander’s current deal.

    http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20121214/SPORTS0104/212140423/Report-Tigers-sign-Sanchez-5-years-80M?odyssey=mod|breaking|text|FRONTPAGE

  3. Peter

    Free agent pitching market is pretty pathetic next year. I would not count on the front office adding a decent pitching piece though, probably add someone like Villaneuva or Mike Adams, sorry people there is no need to be excited over possibly signing a 34 year old reliever with, you guessed it, health issues. Cubs should have upped the offer to 85 at least. Not saying I’m mad because we are not too active in the free agent market with Grienke, Hamilton, or anyone who was obviously out of our range, but Sanchez is a free agent the Cubs had the ability and should have signed. You can talk about the money all you want or TV contract or lack there of, but we are talking about the Chicago Cubs here who have the means no matter what you make think or hear to spend a little more. Being such a large market team, it is pretty disgusting that the FO is basically just laying down, you can talk of rebuilding and that BS all you want, but if you think this team is going to contend in a couple years, you are either intoxicated, or another typical blind Cub fan. You have to add some decent pieces to accomplish something. Almora and Baez wont be here for a couple years at least and we have no pitching prospects in the fold, Shark, McNutt, whatever, not terribly excited. By the way, this is not grade school, there are no “A’s” for effort, in the end they failed to sign Sanchez and whether or not he wanted to pitch here, a more competitive offer could have gone long way. What we have, with some VERY minor adds or changes, you are looking at the 2013 Chicago Cubs. I just wish Cubs fans for once would voice displeasure with the front office at the convention, but most likely Cubs fans will just drink the BS fed to them by the team and say its pinot noir

    1. Frank

      I agree that Sanchez is a signing that was well within the Cubs’ range–but you’re assuming that money is all he wanted, and that may not have been the case. It was reported all along that his preference was to stay in Detroit; it was his team, a World Series team, and he got a lot of money to stay there. I think our FO could’ve offered more–but it’s just as likely Sanchez would not have signed anyway. To him, a chance to win a World Series may be worth a lesser contract.

      And what makes you think fan’s displeasure at the convention would accomplish anything? As Marv Levy once said, ‘if you listen to the fans, soon you’ll find yourself sitting with them.’ Falling attendance is also a way of voicing displeasure–and a much more powerful one.

  4. Crockett

    I just don’t understand why the Cubs wouldn’t front load the deal enormously. Given inflation, etc and the amount of payroll room they have this season, why not make a 5/80 offer with 25m in the first year. That’s a hell of a hard thing to overlook.

    1. Whiteflag

      My thought as well. Why aren’t they front loading deals?

    2. hansman1982

      Front loading only makes sense if you have an owner that takes any surplus amount at the end of the year, you are expecting a period of stagnant or declining contracts or you have a financially unsound front office/ownership group.

      Since none of those three things are true and the time-value of money dictates that a dollar spent tomorrow is cheaper than a dollar spent today, you want to backload as much as the player will allow it.

      Basically, the best way to pay Sanchez would be $500K, $500K, $500K, $500K, $78M.

      1. Whiteflag

        Makes sense. Ameritrade probably knows a thing or two about investing.

      2. Crockett

        I disagree. If your goal is to pay off a debt, sure…you’re right.

        If your goal is to have a successful baseball team, and you have somewhere between 30 and 60m in payroll space, you do what you have to.

        Plus, a declining contract would increase financial leverage in seasons 3-4-5 of the deal when young players are in arbitration and another free agent may be important.

        Again, when the dollar invested today is actually an investment, the backloading theory is less meaningful.

        1. bbmoney

          Front loading of a contract, because of the time value of money, should be very attractive to the player because of the time value of money. I know I’d be much more likely to sign if I got say 50% of a 5 year contract in the first two years.

          1. hansman1982

            Very true, it also, potentially, increases the players need for an NTC since they will perceive themselves as easier to trade with less money owed.

        2. hansman1982

          Again, that is true only if the owner does not allow for rolling over of any surplus money. In a perfect case of backloading you have that money sitting there collecting interest.

          Let’s say the Tigers have that $80M sitting in a bank account right now and it’s been earmarked for Sanchez. (again, perfect backloading scenario).

          Paying out by front loading (30,20,10,10,10) nets you $3.8M in interest (at 2% after inflation which is a conservative return).

          Paying out by flat-lining the contract nets you $4.8M in interest.

          Standard back-loading (maybe even a tad excessive) (10,12,15,20,23) nets you $5.48M

          Perfect backloading nets you $7.9M.

          In this case backloading would get you anywhere from an extra $40,000 to $164,000 a year compared to front loading. Small potatos until you do this with 7-10 players a year and on some truly big contracts. Plus, every extra bit of revenue helps.

          1. Chad

            For the cubs situation frontloading a guy makes more sense. For example instead of 5 years 15 each year. You could do 25, 25, 10, 10, 5. Currenlty the cubs have lots of money they could spend right now. By frontloading you open up more money at the end of Sanchez’s contract to sign another FA or provide an extension to someone. The cubs would have an extra $20mil over the last 3 years of the proposed deal to do something with.

            I’m not saying frontloading is always best or back loading, but to me in this case it makes sense for the cubs to frontload.

            1. ETS

              Front loading never makes sense due to the time value of money and that the baseball industry is in a period of extreme inflation?

              1. Chad

                Ok, as hansman said you save about $160k/year. If I’m the cubs I’m not concerned about that, I’m concerned about getting the best players and winning. Doing what opens opportunities for me to sign the best players is what I need to do. Having 10 -20 extra million laying around would sure help. I know it doesn’t make sense for inflation and interest, but it makes sense in how the cubs payroll is currently structured and the near future goals.

                I would never suggest this for every player or even a couple of them. But right now, this deal with sanchez to me it makes baseball sense to frontload his deal. And of course it no longer matters.

                1. ETS

                  I don’t trust his inflation estimates.

                  1. hansman1982

                    All I calculated was a return 2% above inflation which would be a 5% return (since 1930 inflation has averaged 3%).

                    If anything my numbers are skewed lower due to the fact that the $78M that you have to pay out in 5 years is equivelant to $67M paid out today. Or vice-versa, if you took $67M and invested it at 3% today, to simply match inflation, you’d be able to pay out the $78M to pay the 5th year of Sanchez’s contract.

  5. 2much2say

    An NL pitcher always benefits moving to the AL and Vice versa.
    I see a declining pitcher in Sanchez who is 5’11″ and no Oswalt.

    1. Whiteflag

      I thought it was an AL pitcher generally benefits from moving the the NL (no DH).

    2. Dougy D

      I am not an Anibel Sanchez fan, but I wouldn’t say that he is declining. I think he is overrated and now overpaid. However, I think that he is just entering his best years.

      1. 2much2say

        If you look at Sanchez’s stats closer you’ll see declining stats.
        He was at 4.0 ERA before the trade and improved only after a slow start.
        He benefited from being unknown to AL hitters.

        1. Andrew

          no pitcher benefits from going to the AL. There is an extra bat in the lineup that isn’t the pitcher so numbers will naturally decline.

  6. cubfanincardinalland

    What is amazing, the journalists who are using twitter and reporting erroneous information,
    are guys from major news organizations, such as USA Today. While smaller outfits like yours Brett, are waiting, aquiring the information, and not jumping the gun. It is like the profession has been turned upside down by the instant information process.
    Eventually it is going to cause some type of panic situation involving something more important than a baseball trade.
    As far as Sanchez, I am going to look at it as, he really wanted to play for the Tigers and was just using other teams to pump up the contract. If a guy really does not want to play for your team, it is better off that you didn’t get him by overbidding. His heart would never have really been in it.

    1. hansman1982

      It already has caused a situation more serious than Sanchez signing with the Cubs. How many times has Bill Cosby died on Twitter or the guy who shot Bin Laden?

      Twitter is really a fantastic tool for the dissemination of information. 20 years ago you’d have idiots talking in a coffee shop about XYZ and noone could fact-check it. Today if you hear about something there are, literally, thousands of places to double check the information.

      It’s all in how you use the information.

      1. Jack Weiland

        Truth be told, pretty much every situation is “more serious” than Anibal Sanchez not signing with the Cubs.

  7. KYCub

    Oh..So we are going to give the FO a “nice try” award for this!! Let’s see, these clowns were hired to make the Cubs better, so far they have had a 100 loss season and now have a team in their second year that is worse than the 100 loss team. So, they get played by one of the better FA pitchers, and we say nice try. I think these idiots are getting paid well to sell these type of FA pitchers to come to chicago and be part of a re-build that is exciting. Obviously, the FA’s don’t see it that way.
    IMO, Ricketts is either getting ‘played’ by these clowns he hired to save the day, or he is on the cheap to make money only. This FAN is not sold on all of this. Another 100 loss season is NOT GOOD for this franchise, even if the Kool-Aid drinkers disagree.

    1. DarthHater

      I think these idiots are getting paid well to sell these type of FA pitchers to come to chicago and be part of a re-build that is exciting.

      Gotta be the stupidest thing I have read today. Thanks for making us all a little bit dumber.

      1. Eric

        Gotta be the stupidest thing I have read today. Thanks for making us all a little bit dumber.

        Unfortunately the day is just getting started.

    2. Peter

      KYCub, I have to agree with you. I can understand the rebuilding aspect, and I think Theo and Jed are good for the team in the long run with their vision, but I can’t stand this “they tried” bullshit like we are talking about kids here. Those two are handsomely paid to be effect decision makers and what we have gotten are excuses and fake hope. And you will be attacked on your comment and me on mine because we refuse to drink the kool aid and we have the audacity to have the common sense to know that this whole “we cant spend money” business is total bullshit. No, a year from now, two, if we are still sub 500 or still mediocre people will defend this team and the FO with their life. But after all thats why this team has sucked for so long, sheep following blindly.
      Alright, I’m ready for people’s replies on how I am not a fan or some nonsense like that.

      1. Randy

        I like the enthusiasm.. Theo’s famous words are every season is sacred.. HAHA
        not so much

      2. DarthHater

        You know, if you would post your analysis and opinions without the whiny little bitch koolaid remarks, you wouldn’t attacked so much. Ever think of that?

        1. DarthHater

          *get attacked

          1. Peter

            Lol, yeah, another blind pussy huh? Well DarthHater, you are one of the Douches I always see on here haha.

            1. DarthHater

              If you’d pull your head out of your ass, everything might look less like shit, Brainiac.

              1. Peter

                Funny, I have never had my head in my ass, from the sound of it, sounds like you had to learn that by actually doing it. You sound like typical white trash, interesting.

                1. DarthHater

                  I have never had my head in my ass

                  I wonder what the common characteristic is of everyone who has ever had to make that statement?

                  1. Peter

                    Obviously none that you share, you see, only people with little reasoning power make such ridiculous remarks such as you have. But that’s ok, I’m sure you try real hard to learn and analyze rather than just open your mouth loudly yell out things that you are thinking.

                    1. DarthHater

                      Sadly, we aren’t all capable of such displays of reasoning power as: “another blind pussy huh?”

            2. bbmoney

              You’re more than welcome to your opinion. It’s just lame, and getting really old to hear the old kool-aid drinkers line.

              By all means state your opinion, but we can do without the name calling ridiculousness and you’ll get taken more seriously.

              1. bbmoney

                because the kool-aid drinker line implies that anyone who disagrees with you is an idiot…..which is what you’re accusing Darth and others of doing….which again is lame.

                1. Peter

                  Well, I have to say its pretty lame to step into someone elses argument, aren’t you a good little soldier

                  1. DarthHater

                    I always wondered how the otherwise respectable name Peter became a derogatory term for male genitalia. Now I know.

                    1. Peter

                      Never heard it used that way before, must be something people of little taste use. But I expect no less from someone so ridiculous you have created a little graphic for your username. Must have really took you a while to make that, had to use those computer skills you learned when you were getting your GED. Keep working at it, I’m sure you will eventually move up in life

                    2. hansman1982

                      BOTH OF YOU TAKE THIS CRAP TO CUBS.COM

                    3. DarthHater

                      BOTH OF YOU TAKE THIS CRAP TO CUBS.COM

                      After your little outburst yesterday, hans, I’d say you have very little moral authority on this matter. ;-)

                    4. hansman1982

                      you have 1 outburst in a year and a half and that’s all people remember…

                    5. Cubbie Blues

                      Need a hug Hansman?

                  2. Dougy D

                    “Hey Peter-man, turn in to channel 9. The breast exam commercial’s on.”

                    Nothing to do with the argument. Just had to say it.

                    1. Peter

                      I believe DarthHater has been watching that for some time now.

                  3. bbmoney

                    Thanks. But as I’m a “kool-aid” drinker myself….I don’t see how defending myself is jumping into someone else’s arguement.

                    1. Peter

                      no, it’s just “lame” of you. Sorry, had to borrow a word you love to use.

                    2. Jack Weiland

                      Arguing about arguing … is this the NHL labor negotiations??

        2. Peter

          Oh by the way, I can imagine you probably troll this website looking to basically bring down anyone else with an opinion different that yours? Typical loser, I bet you really try hard to fit in with others. If you need to pay for it, you should get laid, maybe you wont be as frustrated with others.

          1. Melrosepad

            Dude, really?

          2. Cooper

            I enjoy mature discourse involving name calling.

            1. hansman1982

              I can just picture it now…

              Thomas Jefferson:
              WHAT IN THE HELL DO YOU MEAN? Not seceed from the crown? What kind of rose-colored glasses are you wearing, you sheep!

              Crown Supporter:
              Hey, pull your head from your ass and quit being a nay-sayer. The colonies need to spend more money!

              George Washington:
              Wait, Benedict Arnold is reporting that England is just giving up and we should march our troops out for celebration!

              Ben Franklin:
              Hooray!

              after the massacre

              Geo. Washington:
              THOSE LAZY BUMS REPORTING WRONG AND THEY HAVE THE NERVE TO ATTACK ME AND CALL ME A NINCOMPOOP!

              Thomas Jefferson:
              Let’s get those limey bastards for calling us names!

              Yup, that’s what 18th century BN would have looked like.

              1. Dougy D

                I love it

          3. Alex S.

            “Typical loser, I bet you really try hard to fit in with others. If you need to pay for it, you should get laid, maybe you wont be as frustrated with others.”

            Oh my god. What middle school did you go to? I swear this exact line was once spouted to me in 6th grade. You might think I’m being sarcastic, but I swear, the wording of the phrase was exactly the same.

            Needless to say I’ve relaxed a little. I drink a little Kool-Aid every now and then to keep me fresh.

            1. Peter

              Wow, great memory, I’m Impressed, more with the notion that 6th graders were talking to you about getting laid. Jeez, my concerns along with all the other guys back then was finding a way to beat the water temple in Ocarina of Time.

      3. King Jeff

        You start out by saying others will attack you for having a different opinion: “you will be attacked on your comment”
        Then you follow that up with these attacks on people who have different opinions than you.
        “we refuse to drink the kool aid”
        “we have the audacity to have the common sense”
        “sheep following blindly”

        Do you not see how this is going to cause problems and keep all of us from having a logical discussion?

        1. Peter

          Then don’t comment on it, if you feel the need to jump in with your two cents, I let mine be known. By the way, tell me what a logical discussion is.

          1. King Jeff

            How about both of you keep it to talking about the Cubs and stop the personal attacks and insults? I have a hard time seeing what either of you are expecting to accomplish except making people pay attention to your tantrum. You complain about the negative discourse, then proceed to attack and attempt to offend everyone else here.

            1. DarthHater

              But he started it! ;-)

            2. Peter

              Oh God, now the patronizing speech? Thanks Dad. This is between me and dark lord hater over here, just ignore it, not hard to do.

              1. King Jeff

                No problem.

                1. Peter

                  that’s the ticket

              2. Stinky Pete

                So does everyone have to ignore it or just people trying to stop the bickering?

                1. Peter

                  Why stop it Stinky Pete?

      4. Cubbie Blues

        This%20must%20be%20where%20the%20action%20is.png

    3. Adarecub

      They have made the cubs better. The only reason they lost 100 games last season is because they traded whoever they could at the deadline to pick up prospects. We could gave had a 90 loss and let dempster and Maholm walk.

  8. cRAaZYHORSE

    With this deal the Cubs got played, cant be angry with the Cubs . They tried and not by a lack of effort. Cant blame Sanchez either this is his window of opportunity to get a big contract and to be on a contending team. sigh…………….

  9. 2much2say

    Sanchez compares to Gavin Floyd 190 innings 155 SO 4.00 ERA +/- .3
    Floyd 9.5 Mil 2013 is Sanchez 6.5 mil better?

  10. B_Scwared

    When, does the chatter on Porcello hit a fever pitch? Sanchez was the roadblock to the Tigers moving him. I don’t see Thed holding grudges against the Tigers FO.

    1. Dougy D

      That is kind of what I was thinking. It seems that they now have a surplus of starting pitchers. I am sure that if the FO goes that way they will give up a nice prospect for one of them. Hopefully it will just be a couple of long shots or maybe a Campana type that they don’t know what to do with.

  11. Kyle

    And now we’re again reminded of why the time to strike was last offseason.

    On the one hand, good for them for making an effort. Participation awards all around.

    Unfortunately, their effort is not going to translate into more wins. The 2014-15 Cubs have really, really serious starting pitching problems right now, and every opportunity missed to fix that makes it closer to reality. And the opportunities are going to be a lot thinner than people think.

    There was good reason the Cubs were making a big push on this one, and that reason is that they needed this one.

    Edwin Jackson would be a credible alternative, but that’s about it. If they whiff on him (or I guess Marcum, though I’m not as big of a fan), then they’ve got real (well, real-er) problems.

    1. ETS

      no villanueva love?

      1. another JP

        None here whatsoever. Rather go for Liriano, Floyd, or even Dice-K.

      2. Kyle

        Villanueva is a Feldman-class guy. He had basically four starts last year that got everyone hot and bothered, but it’s hard to maintain your velocity and stuff for 30 games a year and he hasn’t remotely proven he can do it.

        I wouldn’t mind having him on the pitching staff, but he doesn’t move the 2014-2015 needle that desperately needs to be moved.

        1. Mick

          Luckily the Cubs have a few balls in the air with Cabrera, Vizcaino, Carreno, Loux, etc. but I agree that 2014 and beyond is looking rather thin. Trading Garza might be the ticket we need to a future top of rotation starter or two. It would have been a lot easier to trade Garza if we’d signed but Sanchez but, c’est la vie!

  12. MightyBear

    I wasn’t as big on Sanchez as Brett was. I still don’t think he’s as good a pitcher as everyone else does. I was more upset at the McCarthy signing as I still think the Cubs missed out and he could have been had. I know he’s older but I also think he’s better and still has good years left. Sanchez has been up and down and costs a bunch more and I don’t think he ever wanted to come to the Cubs.

    1. ETS

      Dback have McCarthy and Brenly. I feel like a surrogate arizona fan all of a sudden.

  13. another JP

    Everything happens for a reason & there’ll be other opportunities. So glad the Cubs held their ground & didn’t continue to up the ante… just sends a message to other teams that we’ll be desperate and cave in to any FA out there. Which is exactly why I detest the process and am more than happy to see us rebuilding on the cheap instead of getting played by buzzards like Mato.

    1. Hee Seop Chode

      You’re right, everything happens for a reason. The reason here is the Cubs didn’t make a compelling enough offer.

      The Cubs haven’t won a WS in my lifetime for many reasons.

      1. another JP

        So getting the Tigers to go from 4/48M to 5/80 isn’t compelling? Sanchez always wanted to be in Detroit and they didn’t want to go more than 4 years. What the hell you expect, Theo to give him a Greinke deal for 6/147? I’m sure that would be compelling… and also very foolish.

      2. Alex S.

        Your name is pure class, Hee Seop Chode. I haven’t laughed out loud reading something on here in awhile, so thank you for that.

  14. notcubbiewubbie

    tell sanchez and his smarmy agent see ya typical south of the border b.s.

  15. 2much2say

    Prediction: Some time in mid to late April the Cubs will be better off with whoever they sign than Detroit is with Sanchez.

  16. BD

    Let’s go after R.A. His age and style will allow him to be good for at least a few years. Jackson/Gibbs/pitcher… I would rather give him $16M per for the next 2-3 years than Anibal anyway. (The only advantage Sanchez had was the ability to sign him for longer, and the need to only spend money.)

    1. King Jeff

      I think the Mets are asking for a pretty unreasonable haul for Dickey.

      1. Dougy D

        Maybe we could send them Soriano or Marmol, or BOTH?

        That would solve 3 problems right there? If we ate the bulk of both contracts maybe we could swing an ok prospect as well.

    2. mudge

      Was thinking that too – R. A. There’s a guy you’ll pay to watch. & then hire him as a pitching coach.

  17. Cedlandrum

    I’ll pass out the participation trophy. My trust wasn’t waining to bad, but it was getting a little more spotty. I really felt that they would let Sanchez go by without so much as a bid. So this at least says to me that they are trying to be competitive sooner rather then later.

    I like that they aren’t being totally forthcoming with the plan to build, but at the same time when you do that and go through a major sucking period it does make it very hard for the fans to stay patient. You can’t be too transparent because you have to have some negotiating power, but you need to show some hope.

    1. Dougy D

      I am with you. By adding a couple of free agents, not the top ones, the Cubs can have a reasonable chance to compete for that extra wild card spot. Once you get to the postseason, it is a victory for the front office and the team. Once you are in the postseason anyone can win the world series. Keeping fans coming to games for say 15 more games than last year will pay for a good portion of those new salaries.

  18. Matty V

    While I don’t blame the media, Tweeters, the Front Office or Sanchez himself, I am not very fond of his agent right now. The way this whole thing played out felt a little underhanded to me. I know his job is to get his client the best contract possible, but I can’t say I like how he allegedly went about it. I know I’m making a lot of assumptions here and I could be wrong about how it all went down, but if it did go down with him playing the Cubs for fools to get more years/money from the Tigers, I’d think twice about dealing with him again in the future if I’m the Front Office.

    1. ssckelley

      Get mad at the agent but the agent did exactly what he gets paid to do. He just got his client who had a losing record last season (9-13) and is 3 games under .500 for his career a 5 year 80 million dollar contract.

      1. Matty V

        I agree. The agent did his job well. He got the most money and years for his client from a team he wanted to stay with. That doesn’t mean I respect how he went about it. It just feels like there was a lack of integrity on his part, and that’s what I don’t like about it. I’m not a big fan of intentionally playing someone for a fool to get what you want. Again, I don’t know everything that went down. If I’m wrong about it, I’ll admit it.

  19. Stu

    I actually think it doesn’t matter if they signed Sanchez at this point. The Cubs are actually a little better than last year. Maybe 90-95 losses instead of 100 losses. Their bullpen gave away games at an alarming rate last spring and they had Byrd, Soto etc. hitting below the Mendoza line.

    They might as well suck for the next 3 years, watch their attendance drop to the Marlins level and wake up one day and go all Dodger-like to reignite some general interest at that point.

    Does anyone really believe that with the Reds, Dodgers, Giants, Braves in the NL that the Cubs can pull off a miracle and slide into the playoffs and “steal” a WS? Not in the next 3 years. What Cubbie fans don’t get is that with the information available today, there is less obvious advantage for moneyball guys.

    So enjoy rooting for the RizzoOMG, Castro not taking a pitch, Soriano hot weeks, and the Rule 5 guys because that’s all there is. There is some entertainment value there. Whether it justifies the ticket prices, most fans might get bored after awhile.

  20. Mick

    Time to move on, and this just in, per mlbtraderumors.com:
    •Cuban players Dariel Alvarez and shortstop Aledmys Diaz are both officially free agents, tweets Jorge Ebro of El Nuevo Herald. Alvarez, a 24-year-old outfielder, and 22-year-old shortstop Diaz were profiled by MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez last month.

    The Cubs are severely thin in the upper tiers of the minors and two could be huge gets. I’d say we definitely sign them both and puruse another SP like Jackson or Marcum.

    1. Chris

      Last I heard the Cubs only had like $600k to sign international free agents. I don’t think that’s enough to get both or even one.

      1. cubchymyst

        If they are free agents they are not subject to the international spending cap

      2. Kyle

        The cap only applies to 23-and-unders. The 24-year-old is already clear, and the 22-year-old will be waiting to sign until he turns 23 in Jan. or Feb.

        1. Chris

          It took me a while to find, but you are indeed correct. I accept my loss.

          If the Dodgers motto is “Sign all the players!”, Theo’s should be “Sign all the Cubans!”

  21. rich

    I guess if he’s doing it for the right reasons . Detroit is alot better team for sure , but if it was for 2 and a half mil. I believe that really and so does he and his agent they were not going to play here in the 1st place ala (wade and james )

  22. Lou

    Again, I think the Cubs need to jump in the ring if a trade for Upton comes up again. It seems as though the trade requires a three-way deal.

  23. GDB

    It seems clear enough that if the Cubs hadn’t got involved, Sanchez would have signed a 4/60 deal with the Tigers.

    I don’t believe we had any chance of signing him unless we offered 6 years or stupid money in which case it would have been a bad signing anyway. Ho-hum. Move on.

  24. Patrick G

    Maybe Detroit will now try to trade Porcello?

    1. someday...2015?

      Yes, most likely.

      Here’s a trade people can criticize and pick a part… Porcello, and Castellanos for Baez, Marmol, Soriano, Vitters, and Lake.

      1. King Jeff

        The Cubs would have to eat a lot of salary, but I’d take that deal.

        1. someday...2015?

          I agree, and you know what they say… You gotta give a lot to get a lot.

        2. another JP

          I wouldn’t. No way I send Baez to Detroit or anywhere else. Don’t believe the Cubs would ever consider it either.

          1. King Jeff

            Getting a major league ready starting pitcher and a major league ready third baseman with star potential seems like a worthy risk on a guy who has yet to prove he can take a pitch. I love Baez, but you have to give to get.

  25. 2much2say

    Jair Jurrgens will be comeback player of the year.

    1. Patrick G

      I like Juirgens as a low risk/high reward type guy. Dude was untouchable 2 years ago when he was healthy and he’s still young. Maybe a minor league deal with invite to ST or a low salary guaranteed contract

      1. King Jeff

        If Jurrjens would take a minor league deal, I’d be happy to see him compete for a spot. However, he has a lot of red flags, and had them even when he had his very good seasons. I wouldn’t be very confident if he was someone who the Cubs were counting on holding down a rotation spot.

  26. droppedsomething

    Brett’s reference to the failed Marmol/Haren swap reminds me that that whole situation will carry an interesting subtext to the coming season. The Cubs bailed on that deal (that would have blessedly dumped Marmol and his $9M on the Angels) supposedly due to medical concerns for Haren. Yet Haren subsequently passed the Nats medical exam and signed for $13M. If Haren stays healthy and possibly earns a ring for his efforts; then Theo and the Gang will earn a demerit in my book. I’m still in Theo’s camp, but the Haren scenario may end up haunting him.

    1. mudge

      If he were “haunted” by things like that, he wouldn’t be able to do his job. Every move is a gamble, and you’ll lose a lot of them.

  27. Stu

    The Cubs will be a .500 team in 2014, 2015, 2016. In order to really win and dominate, they will need a #1 starting pitcher and probably a #1a starting pitcher. That is why they won in 2003. The problem is that the Giants, Dodgers, have those guys locked up. Maybe the Tigers also.

    That is how you can win with Angel Pagan type players. Just sit back and wait to see if those pitchers become available. The odds are pretty low at this point unless a Prior/Wood type show up in the draft and can be fast tracked.

    1. Kyle

      It’s going to be problematic to get to .500 by 2014.

      It can be done, but it’s not a slam dunk. They have to do a lot of good work between now and then.

  28. Curt

    no Sanchez ok ,then go get a cf either Bourn or Peter borj.

  29. Aaron

    I am a bit frustrated that the Cubs have not been able to land some of the better free agents this off-season, and fear that the team’s master 3 year plan of being highly competitive may not pan out, which is unfortunate. Since Theo and his team have taken over the Cubs, the market has changed with more media revenues pouring in and FA getting bigger contracts than expected. I believe the Dodgers, and other teams throughout both leagues, are willing to spend $$$ at a time when the Cubs are being more thrifty yet smarter with their budget. My concern is that Theo’s plan to be highly competitive, and perhaps a championship caliber team, in 3 years is flawed by design in the current market.

    I understand why the team went this route and I believe the Cubs draft picks will be studs in 4+ years. However, if we’re not able to land top tier free agents (esp. starting pitching) along the way as we’re developing our own talent, winning the division and eventually a World Series championship may take much longer than anticipated just a few years ago.

  30. DarthHater

    Okay, back to baseball…

    Marcum or Jackson? And why?

    1. King Jeff

      Jackson, I think he’s more dependable, even if he pitched for the Cardinals.

      1. Melrosepad

        I’d go Jackson. Yeah, the ERA jumps around more, but he is 2 years younger and had 30+ starts each of the past 6 years. Marcum has only pitched over 160 innings twice.

    2. someday...2015?

      I prefer Jackson but my gut tells me Marcum would be the target because of the early off-season connection. I prefer Jackson because of the playoff experience, and overall body of work.(Jackson has always been a pretty solid starter.) I do think either one would be a nice addition to the rotation.(not Sanchez nice, but still nice either way.)