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.

  • Mike

    Bob Nightengale @BNightengale
    Agent Gene Mato Sanchez agrees to 5 year,$80 million deal w #Tigers

    Any doubt that NIghtengale was the agent’s pawn in all this is gone now.

    Frustrated as hell, grrrrr.

    • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

      They broke their own rules to get him. Glad we didn’t go to that 6th year. I know some won’t like this, but Chicago wasn’t his first choice and we were going to have to “pay” to get him. 5yr/$80 million is as far as this should have went.

      • bbmoney

        Agreed. Wanted him, but 5 years is about as long as I’d ever want to go for a pitcher. Wouldn’t really have wanted to see the Cubs top 5/$80M either, or not significantly at least.

        Maybe make an exception for a #1, which Sanchez isn’t.

    • itzscott

      The reality is that players want to play on a winning team that has a good chance of getting to the playoffs and on to the WS.

      Until the Cubs can create that core of players to surround someone like Sanchez or Price, I think they’re spinning their wheels going after guys like that unless they grossly overpay their competition…. which will only get the Cubs back to where Hendry put them.

      As much as I would’ve liked a Sanchez signing, which would have allowed the Cubs untold other opportunities to accelerate the rebuilding process, if I was Sanchez I’d have chosen the Tigers as well.

      I my mind, Theo/Jed should be concentrating their efforts on identifying and trading for the next “Rizzo”. Ideally for 3rd base. Olt and Castellanos come to mind obviously. With one of those in place, they wait until guys like Jackson, Baez, Soler, Almora, etc work their way up and develop into the major league players they are expected to.

      It will be then that FA’s like Sanchez & Price would view the Cubs as a team that they can realize their goals of getting to the playoffs.

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    I’ll never root for someone to get injured but I really hope he plays like shit for detroit. Not a classy move by him or the agents part. I get business is business but to fans and media you lose a lot of support and respect. I would be extremely annoyed and ticked if I were in that Detroit FO. There won’t be to many warm and fuzzy feelings I bet when they introduce his signing at the press conference

  • Dustin

    Now Cubs should offer the 5/80 to Bourn

    • Marcel91


    • Serious Cubs Fan

      haha good joke. I would sign bourn to more then a 3 year deal, those legs are going to slow fast (AKA Carl Crawford), 1yr-2yrs now your talking lol, but only a pipe dream

  • Dustin

    The #Cubs ownership and Theo Epstein were in Miami yesterday and presented $77 million offer, but #Tigers jumped up and stole him back

  • North Side Irish

    Does this mean I have to start work now?

  • MichiganGoat

    As frustrating as this is I love that we can follow all this in real time – the world has changed and I like it.

  • OJ

    Cubs need to go get Peter Bourjos. Like now.

    • itzscott


  • nick cafardo

    Nightengale makes me seem like a journalistic genious. And everyone knows I’m a dipshit.

    • ETS

      this post is awesome.

  • Don

    This SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!

  • ETS

    Why does nightengale still have a job?

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

    I wonder who Anibal Sanchez’ agent is, and how much money he screwed himself out of down the line over the additional 500k he got by playing the Cubs…

  • MichiganGoat

    Well that was fun nice job by his agent

    • hansman1982

      yes, get an additional 1 year $20M?

      Excellent work, increased his guaranteed money by 33%!

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

        …but he didn’t get that. He got an additional 5M and 0 years.

        • hansman1982

          Tigers were initially thought to be at 4/60 (lastest news puts this at 4/48). Cubs involvement got above and beyond that. The tweet by Nightengale last night did the trick.

  • Dustin

    Cubs need to do something NOW!!

  • KidCubbie

    If this would have been a couple of years ago we would have never heard about how the negotiations went down. It would just be a free agent that the Cubs didnt sign. Social media has us hanging on the edge of our seats and sometimes following false information.

  • Eric

    Brett, why not punch a Tiger instead? In fact, to get max anger relief give a tiger a dirty sanchez.

  • Riggs

    Let’s face it…the Cubs are going to have to overpay any top FA at this point in the rebuilding process. If they really thought he was worth 77.5(and a building block) why not go to 5 years and 85?

  • Frank

    I like Sanchex a lot, but damn, 5/80 is some ridiculous overpayment for a pitcher who always seems to have a sore shoulder. We’re reportedly in on Villanueva(I still see him as the Brewers swingman who always seemed to get knocked around) and there were earlier reports that we had interest in Jackson (want: we’d be his 8th big league team, and before his 30th birthday.)

    This being said, I have to wonder if the reason that we’re suddenly in on every starting pitcher is not so much to win now, but they’ve accepted the fact that a Garza extension won’t happen, so they would like some type of veteran, front end-ish starter to replace him, and then turn around and flip Garza leaving us with the ho-hum rotation of Jackson/Villanueva, Shark, Baker, Feldman, Wood.

  • BD

    I loathe Gene Mato.

    • Justin

      i hear you there, what a snake and I believe Sanchez creditability is shot as well. You don’t agree with someone and then go use it as leverage, what a douche

  • Dustin

    So what rumor can we expect today with the Cubs? I’m serious…who ever we sign next, I wont believe it til hes actually at a press conference

    • Brian Peters

      Amen, Dustin. This crap is unreal. I mean, I didn’t want the Cubs to blow that kind of money on Dirty anyway, but I’m tired of getting my hopes. Notice how, with the folks the Cubs have signed so far, the first we heard about it (for the most part) was when both sides had pens to paper getting ready to sign? That’s the way I like it. Don’t take crap away from me like that.

  • Don

    Champaign market team on a beer budget!

  • Frank

    And seriously, this is not the same caliber of let down as the Dempster and Haren fiascos. In those cases, we were getting what seemed to be a very good player in exchange for something that we didn’t want ot need. In the case of Sanchez, he may be a very good pitcher, but what we missed out on was overpaying for him by miles.

  • Justin

    Pressure is on for Cubs FO as now they have to spend on someone or it just looks bad

    • Frank

      Yeah, we should go out and spend $75 on a pile of junk because we didn’t get the toy we wanted. If we can get someone like Jackson or Marcum at a reasonable price, great, but I doubt, and sincerely hope that we’ll go on a spending spree just for the sake of doing so.

    • hansman1982

      Wait, WHAT?!?!

      Let’s say you just lost out on house that was priced pretty reasonably. You are then going to rush out and throw whatever money at the next one to come along?

      This is what separates good executives from the rest of us.

      Any signing that happens in the next week will NOT be just because we missed out on Sanchez. Clearly this FO signs the guys they want for the contract they want.

      How pissed would we be if it were flipped and we had to spend another 1 year and $20M over what we wanted to pay to get Sanchez away from the Tigers?

  • http://www.hookersorcake.com hookersorcake

    Yeah the Cubs woulda have to have gone 6 years or 90 million and something and I’m out on that. Maybe offer 5/75 to Garza once/if he proves to be healthy and extend Shark.

    • Serious Cubs Fan

      Garza’s values down, I would try to go tad lower on the offer. 4 years $60 mil- he probably won’t sign it but that would give him secure safe money with the arm injury scare and the cubs a very reasonable team friendly contract. Garza is how old 29?

      • Serious Cubs Fan

        I get scared when you give 5yr or up contracts that take players into 35yrs of age or older, major dip in production and they lose a tad off the fastball

  • Dustin

    Bob Lightengale The #Tigers original offer was four years, $48 million so they made dramatic increase to get Sanchez at $80 million

  • Tim

    It’s clear he wanted to go back to Detroit. His agent squeezed out another year and 32 million dollars bases on the Tigers original offer. Good for him. There will be more anibal sanchez’s out there

    • OJ

      Have you seen the list of Free Agent pitchers next year? It’s complete trash.

  • ruby2626

    I wouldn’t have even made a counter offer, the way I see it you either want to pitch for the Cubs or you don’t, our offer for a #3 starter was more than fair. I don’t know when we’re going to win this thing but we eventually will, when that happens it’s going to be the story of the decade. If you don’t want to be part of it fine, we’ll do it eventually with or without you. Enjoy playing behind the worst defense in baseball in terms of unearned runs allowed and range when you could have had a Top 3 infield defense around you. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

  • North Side Irish

    Bob Nightengale ‏@BNightengale
    The #Tigers original offer was four years, $48 million so they made dramatic increase to get Sanchez at $80 million

    Agent did his job…we just don’t like how he did it.

    • hansman1982


      That is a 66% increase/overpay by the Tigers from where they were.

  • 2much2say

    The Cubs weren’t going to win in 2013 so they saved 15 mil not signing him. They will have other opportunities in 2014 like Price, Linescum etc…

  • Fishin Phil

    Brett, have fun punching the dolphin. I have chosen to kick a unicorn in the crotch.

    • EQ76

      go ahead and attack a whale too Brett.. “fook-a-yu whale and dolphin!”

      • hansman1982

        What you do is get an Orka and a dolphin to attack a shark for you…THEN you beat them up.

        Gotta establish supremecy.

        • Cubbie Blues

          I’d use a killer whale and a dolphin instead.

  • another JP

    Our FO played this fair and did exactly what I expected throughout this process– which is more than can be said for Mato, Dirty Sanchez, and the Tigers. What goes around comes around in this league, and GL to Mato & Nightengale to getting any respect in their future endeavours. Like I said earlier, this wasn’t a screaming deal anyway & I suspect Sanchez will have more than his share of time on the DL in the next five years. I’m sure there’s other pitchers on Theo’s radar that can be had that will perform just fine.