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.