UPDATE Friday, 12/14, 10:00ET: The Tigers have reportedly agreed to a 5-year deal with Sanchez after the Cubs decided to move in another direction.
-- End of Update --
Nightengale tweeted on Thursday:
Breaking: The Chicago #Cubs have just signed Anibal Sanchez.— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) December 13, 2012
The reported deal will be for five years, according to Nightengale:
The #Cubs are still finalizing the details, but Sanchez has agreed to the five-year deal that will be announced after physical— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) December 13, 2012
However, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com tweeted:
#cubs are indeed talking to anibal sanchez, and have been all winter, but they deny they have a deal done.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) December 13, 2012
The 28-year-old Venezuelan posted a combined 3.86 ERA, 1.27 WHIP and 167 strikeouts in 31 starts for the Miami Marlins and Detroit Tigers in 2012. That included giving up just four earned runs in three postseason starts (20.1 innings) while compiling a 0.98 WHIP. He gave up two runs in seven innings with eight strikeouts in his lone start against the San Francisco Giants in the World Series.
Sanchez, who was undrafted in 2001, has a 3.75 ERA, 1.29 WHIP and 733 strikeouts in 869 career innings. Despite all of this, he has posted just two seasons with a winning record, more indicative of him being on the Marlins than anything.
Chicago posted a starters' ERA of 4.52 last season, 23rd in baseball. Cubs starters notched just one complete game all year.
This is obviously a big signing for the club, which went 61-101 last season, the second-worst mark in baseball. While the Cubs also need to add to what was a putrid offense in 2012, this is at least a step in the right direction in the pitching department.