Anibal Sanchez, Agent, Played the Cubs

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The Detroit Tigers and Anibal Sanchez have agreed to terms for a new contract according to CBS Sports Jon Heyman. The new deal is going to be worth 5 years and 80 mm and the Chicago Cubs had a hand in driving up the price.

Jackson covered the original leak last night when it appeared certain that the Cubs were going to sign Sanchez to a 5 year, 75MM deal. Bleacher Nation and Twitter were blowing up as the deal appeared to be done and there was rejoicing in Cubs nation as it appeared TheoCo signed a young pitcher with plus stuff and good results to a moderately responsible contract that keeps him under control through his age 33 season.

But yeah, we’ve seen this movie a lot lately.

Initial reports turned into conflicting reports that then turned into non reports. Heyman never confirmed the deal. Then Paul Sullivan tweeted this:

Cubs not commenting on premature report of Sanchez signing. Sounds like a double cross by the agent. Too bad.

Any of the optimism that Twitter felt when the initial news crossed evaporated after it became clear that Gene Mato, Sanchez’s agent, was playing the Cubs to get more money and an extra year out of the Tigers.

This is to be expected when you’re in the middle of a rebuild.

From my understanding of the way it went down, the Cubs made an initial offer and were led to believe that it was a sufficient offer to sign Sanchez. What they were not told was that Mato was going to let the Tigers match or counter the offer all along. The Cubs never got a chance to counter that offer and Sanchez ended up in Detroit, where he wanted to be all along.

This one does sting, much like the Dempster for Delgado done deal, not a done deal stung. Anibal Sanchez hasn’t thrown 200 IP in his career yet and he’s 28, this is true. What is also true is that he overcame a lot of injury issues early in his career to be an effective 190 IP guy. Here is a Detroit Free Press scouting report on Sanchez from last season, which does a pretty good job of using numbers to grade out Anibal’s tendencies and rate statistics (TLDR: He’s pretty good).

At this point in his career Sanchez wasn’t going to turn into an Ace, or even a #2. Sanchez is a #3 guy, by that I mean a guy like Jeff Samardzija, can be occasionally dominant but on the whole is simply an above average pitcher. Netting Sanchez would have taken the sting off the eventual Matt Garza deal. Sanchez is a guy that can be around when the Cubs are ready to compete again.

Anibal Sanchez is a good pitcher and on some days he can be REALLY good. But the Cubs are in the middle of a rebuild and they aren’t going to be the favorites to get someone that can be really good unless they overpay, and I’m not an advocate of that strategy.

In short, the Cubs got hosed. I’m not mad though.

SOOOOOOOOOOOO NOT ANGRY ABOUT THIS AT ALL. NOPE. NOT ANGRY

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