Well, it didn’t take long for things to get off and running today after yesterday’s string of updates

According to Ken Rosenthal, the Cubs have bumped their original five-year, $75 million offer to free agent starter Anibal Sanchez to five years and $77.5 million. It’s an increase, but not one that knocks you over the head. The Tigers, says Rosenthal, are still at $75 million. The negotiation dance is ongoing.

UPDATE 1 (8:13am CT): Jon Heyman says the Cubs are now “out,” and the Tigers are in position to sign Sanchez, barring a last minute surprise entrant.

UPDATE 2 (8:21am CT): I’m expecting Rosenthal to amplify his earlier report (which preceded Heyman’s by about 3 minutes) any moment now to clarify, but I’m thinking that it’s just a simple matter of Sanchez’s agent using the Cubs to get the Tigers up to five years, which they did last night. And then the agent went back to the Cubs to see if they would blow the Tigers out of the water, which, at $77.5 million, they declined to do.

UPDATE 3 (8:40am CT): I’m taking this more as commentary than any kind of substantive info – from Buster Olney: “The postscripts to the Anibal Sanchez negotiations will be interesting. Because it’s clear that there’s a lot of misremembering going on.” We should be preparing ourselves for this to shake out unfavorably.

UPDATE 4 (8:46am CT): Heyman says the Cubs have “moved on.” The deal isn’t done with the Tigers yet, and another team could still enter the mix. Are the Cubs trying to apply some of their own pressure? Maybe. But the more logical explanation is that they simply reached their limit.

UPDATE 5 (8:52am CT): And Sanchez’s agent, who played everyone, tells Bob Nightengale that Sanchez has agreed to a five-year, $80 million deal with the Tigers. It was where he clearly always wanted to go.

UPDATE 6 (8:55am CT): Gordon Wittenmyer says the Cubs haven’t been told they’re out, but I’m expecting we’ll hear that soon. He adds that the Cubs don’t think they’ll get Sanchez, and expect to turn their attentions elsewhere.

UPDATE 7 (8:59am CT): Multiple reports, including Gordon, say it’s done – Sanchez to the Tigers for 5 years and $80 million. Good for him for getting the money and the location he wanted. I’m going to go punch a dolphin.

  • Brian cubs fan

    Twitter reports bite the cubs again the cubs need to work secretly to get deals done

    • Serious Cubs Fan

      thats impossible with Sanchez’s agent leaking everything to the media to try and drive up hype and urgency for the other team to up the anti

      • Serious Cubs Fan

        I can almost guarantee you that almost all the leaks were from sanchez’s agent. He played a good game of chess, I’ll give him that. but a not a classy one at that

    • hansman1982

      This isn’t like a Jr. High dance where one side doesn’t want the other side to know that they “like like” them or that they don’t want their friends to know they like each other.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      Also, the Tigers pretty much guaranteed this would happen by (apparently) telling Sanchez that they wanted a chance to match final offers. This pretty much requires that agent to leak that they were finalizing a deal with another team and inducing some verification that there were at least serious negotiations: otherwise, it’s just the agent claiming to have another offer.

    • DarthHater

      No basis for just assuming that Twitter had any impact on the outcome. In the end, Detroit was a more attractive destination for this player at this time because they are a World Series team right now. On top of that, they offered more money – and I don’t think you can fault our FO very much for not wanting to top 5/80 for this particular player. Sounds to me like a rational outcome to a reasonably normal negotiation. Is it disappointing that the Cubs didn’t get better? Sure. Are the Twitter reports annoying as hell? You betcha. Do I ask myself as many rhetorical questions as Donald Rumsfeld? Not a chance. 😉

      • DocPeterWimsey

        Detroit was not even a destination for Sanchez: he was already there. And it’s not just that the Tigers were a WS team: they were his WS team.

        • DarthHater


        • DocPeterWimsey

          Oh, and I don’t find the Tweets irritating. To the contrary, I find it fascinating that we now get to follow things that were previously completely opaque. Sure, there is a huge Grimmsian effect – “finalizing” becomes “finalized” really quickly – but 10 years ago, we probably would not have learned that the Cubs seriously pursued Sanchez unless Sanchez chose to mention it later.

          • DarthHater

            I might agree with you, if I thought Twitter was a source of information, as opposed to a glorified game of telephone.

            • hansman1982

              It is, just now, more than ever, it is your job to read what you see and double check it. Apparently those that are sending the information are not doing so.

  • Rich

    If these agents are going to use these teams as pawns for more money, can they not say CHECKMATE…

    I mean … 4 / 48 Cubs 5 / 75….gets 80 million…a nice bump for that extra year..

    Agree or dont agree, but be professional…f’in douche

    • hansman1982

      Agents have been pitting teams against each other for decades. It’s their job.

      Remember when Theo overpaid for Carl Crawford because he thought the Yankees were hyper interested?

      • DocPeterWimsey

        Remember when Boras got the Rangers to bid against non-existent Team X for ARod?

        • hansman1982

          DAMN TWITTER!!!!

          Wait, I thought the discussion last night was that this was impossible for teams and agents to do? HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE!?!?!?!?!?!

      • Southern Cub

        But I cant help but think that this agent will have a much harder time dealing w/ this Cubs front office going forward

        • Jack Weiland

          Meh, I’m guessing no. If the agent has something the Cubs want, they’ll get over their hurt feelings to make a deal. It’s business, right? Stuff happens.

    • DarthHater

      I’m shocked, SHOCKED to find bargaining going on in this marketplace!

  • EQ76

    wow… first the Demp deal to the Braves that fell through, then Garza goes down before the trade deadline last year, then the Haren deal, now this?? I don’t think my heart can take anymore pitching news until the ink is dry.

  • cheryl

    This was for the best. The whole thing with Sanchez, his agent and Nightengale was a bad deal. At least the Cubs made an effort and it show that the Cubs will do more than flip a player which made me want to skip the whole situation of 2013.

    • Serious Cubs Fan

      Cheryl: Yes I would say we have had a string of bad luck, but I kind of really like how the Maholm trade panned out. It sucks we lost out on delgado, but we got a higher risk but a much higher reward player in Vizciano, who has much better stuff. I’m willing to role the dice, for a front line starter, or a great late inning reliever

  • Dustin

    Need to go hard after Bourn now at 5/80. Sign Carlos Villanueva and Shaun Marcum to 2yr deals

    • JulioZuleta

      I wouldn’t touch that number for Bourn. Maybe 5/55 – 5/60. Maybe. I wouldn’t even feel great about that.

      • Cubbie Blues

        5 years for Bourn is way way too long. He is a slap hitting speed guy. When his speed starts to go so will his production.

    • OJ

      Forget Bourn…with the Angels signing Hamilton, Peter Bourjos has nowhere to play. This kid has a WAR of 5. GREAT defensive CF, has some pop, steals bases. Only 25 years old.

  • JulioZuleta

    Jim Bowden from ESPN is our latest tweet-deleter. Deleted the’Anibal Sanchez signs with the Cubs tweet. Luckily I still have it because I retweeted it. I think I’ll retweet it to him every time he “breaks” something.

    • ETS

      Please do.

      • JulioZuleta

        Unbelievable that not only do these guys address their irresponsible reporting, but they then cover up the evidence.

        • ETS

          1) it’s not hard to make your tweets say “Unconfirmed but sources say Sanchez signed with cubs”

          2) At least be man enough to say “I wrongly reported the signing last night. I apologize to my followers.”

        • hansman1982

          Yes, I wonder how many “sources” are other reporter’s twitter accounts.

          If you screw up at least own it.

          • JulioZuleta

            Has to be tons. Have you ever notice how 1 minute after one guy breaks something, they alll do. I find it very hard to believe that they all got in touch with their respective sources within 1 minutes time. Twitter has made some reporters so sloppy. Some are still good. Even the Kapman got caught up in this one.

            On another note, have you noticed how all of the reporters are saying “as BNightengale first reported…” Sanchez to Tigers. It’s like they’re all trying to pat there little buddy on the back after his embarrassing night. I think it kind of makes him look even worse.

        • hardtop

          another reason to dislike twitter; it encourages bad reporting. these guys dont even have think, and certainly dont need to be accomplished journalists.

    • droppedsomething

      Jim Bowden has zero credibility…ever since he lost the Nats GM job because of the Dominican fiasco (heck he probably lost it even before that). Maybe he should just delete the record of his entire front office career too.

  • Mick

    Bummer, we just got played. It’s almost comical at this point that the only bigger name free agent we attempt to sign just uses us to get more money. Sanchez just made my list and currently sits at #2 right behind Eric Show.

    • hansman1982

      That team used to be the Yankees.

  • Leo

    Heard on the radio (Espn 1000) that Theo went to Miami with a contract for 77.5 mil then realized he was being played that’s when they pulled out.

  • North Side Irish

    And now the Tigers can flip Porcello to the Pirates for Hanrahan and add one additional nut shot to this whole ridiculousness.

  • Curt

    I’ll tell you what I am fully sick to death of John heyman, bob nightingale ,and the rest of these supposed pundits who constantly guess, report innaccurate stories or reports, then later on backtrack how bout getting it right at some point guys, now Brett you do a fine job bc we all know yr a cubs fan and yr looking for the cubs angle, but these jokers are throwing crap on the wall hoping they guessed right too bad losing out on Sanchez but their will be others who do want to come here.

    • hansman1982


  • Dustin

    The thing that really is gonna suck is since this went public,I bet every other agent calls the Cubs today and plays the same game this douche did.

  • pete

    Putting aside the end result, I was very happy to see the FO’s aggressive effort. That effort heartens me to no end (while clearly not to the level that signing Sanchez would have picked me up).

  • http://Ehanauer.com Clark Addison

    5/80 mil for a pitcher with a lifetime losing record.


  • Serious Cubs Fan


    Wow this must be a record amount of comments for before 9am lol. I should really be studying for my final that I have in an hour instead of hear, but i can’t help myself lol. I have to say I love Bleachernation. Great community of cubs fans. I love to debate and talk cubs. Keep up the good work brett. I really enjoy the posts and the conversations we all get to enjoy because you spark them with such an awesome site

  • MJ

    I thought Theo and crew were supposed to be savvy geniuses. So far they have shown me nothing to back that up. This is the 3rd time they have been burned publicly, and they’re starting to make Hendry look like Mark Zuckerberg on the social media front.

    Beginning to wonder if we were sold a bill of goods, and if they’re not in over their collective heads.

    • Kevin

      I like how Theo is not going to overpay substantially for a player at this juncture in time. Soriano should be in the final year of his contract yet Hendry outbid himself and added a year. How about the Milton Bradley deal? We could have gotten Raul Ibanez the same year for a lot less money.

      • Serious Cubs Fan

        Kevin: Totally agree. I’d rather not have Sanchez if its not at the right price. The Tigers were going to outbid the cubs, no matter what most likely or make the offer close enough to the cubs to make it to difficult to turn down. The tigers gave up a pretty damn good top pitching prospect to marlins for him they arent going to have be wasted on a half season investment.

  • http://www.justinjabs.com/blog/ justinjabs

    I wouldn’t nearly be as disappointed about this Sanchez bit if not for your logical drum beating. Darn you Brett.

  • North Side Irish

    Damn you Little Caesars…

    • DarthHater

      I’m gonna order a pizza tonight and not tip the delivery boy. That’ll show ’em!

  • 2much2say

    I would bet that the FO saw this coming so they drove up the price.

  • emrac

    Sanchez agent got what he wanted maybe burning bridge with the Cubs in the future but I am not too sad love the determination by the front office to try to get Sanchez

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

    I guess I shouldn’t be upset seeing as in it was a surprise the Cubs were in on Sanchez in the first place. Still a disappointment to lose out.

  • mak

    Maybe Theo and company need to start having our trade partners/players/agents sign a Non-disclosure agreement before entering into negotiations. This is getting absurd.

  • steve

    Well on to the “backup guy” who in the hell do we think that guy is?

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

      E. Jackson, Marcum, and Villanueva would be the 3 names I’d be looking at. Of I had to take a guess and pick one of the three, I’d go with the guy we were connected to early on(Marcum) A surprise name could be Rick Porcello who is now expendable. Cubs still have plenty of options, and it could all turn out for the best, only time will tell.

  • Dumpgobbler

    To the people who keep saying the cubs FO got played by the agent, read this.

    Cubs offered 5/75. That was the offer we were comfortable at. That caused the Tiger to go to 5 years, which they didn’t want to do. If anyone got played it was the Tigers, not us. We just put out our best offer, and it got beat. Thats all there is to this.

    • another JP

      True. And even since last night the Cubs bumped their offer and made Detroit pony up another $5M, so Theo left them with a little parting gift of his own.

    • Cooper

      ^ this.

    • hardtop

      yeah, the front office made the right call in my opinion. their offer was more than fair for sanchez. they laid their cards on the table, bumped it a little bit, but walked away instead of getting caught up in the hype of a bidding war. i would have several less neal anderson starting lineup action figures if i could demonstrate the same strong will… i just get so caught up with winning those damn ebay auctions.

  • steve

    Sanchez’s agent played everyone, I know it ain’t the front office’s fault, but I’m sick of hearing that we have a done deal only to have it fall apart immediately after the media start throwing the story around. That said I hope Sanchez busts every single year of that deal, and that the agent never ever brings a client to negotiate with the cubs.

  • Pingback: World Series Dreaming » Anibal Sanchez, Agent, Played the Cubs()

  • Chris

    I am about done with hoyer and Epstein we every deal that appears to be beneficial to the cubs gets ruined in the end because we either want more or something. They all bitch and moan about soriano’s contract but just don’t dump it and take what you can get. How can you contend in two years when we have no team now. Zero pitching the bullpen sucks and zero offense. I guess we will just spend like crazy next winter on garbage players. The best possible guy upcoming is cano if he doesn’t re sign before then and even then bidding war with la will ensue and we are so cheap that you might as well print his boarding pass the so cal

    • EQ76

      This is a problem I see coming. Teams are locking up future FA’s and the players that are left over are signing for more than they’re worth. It will become increasingly difficult to lock up players this off season and next. Our farm system is getting better but can’t realistically help the big league club for several more years. So, where does that leave us?

      1 – wait out the farm system and hopefully compete in 5-7 years from now?
      2 – trade away some top prospects for players like David Price, Cano?
      3 – continue to try on guys like Sanchez and have to either miss out or overpay?

      It feels as if the baseball landscape is shifting and making our rebuild a little more difficult than expected.