With the Chicago Cubs in the middle of what could be a fairly lengthy rebuild, it probably came as a surprise for most to see the team right in the middle of the Anibal Sanchez sweepstakes.
At one point yesterday, and continuing into this morning, Chicago was in serious discussions with Anibal Sanchez, one of this offseason's most sought-after starting pitchers, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports:
Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 13, 2012
Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 14, 2012
That to me, is mind-boggling .
With the Cubs looking to be more cautious with their payroll these days, handing out $77.5 million to Anibal Sanchez for five years seems strange.
Do you think offering $77.5 million over 5 years to Anibal Sanchez was a good move on the Cubs' part?
The first problem with that equation is the five-year term.
The Cubs aren't even expected to be competitive in the next three to five years, which has me questioning why they would want to give Sanchez $77.5 million to join a team that isn't going anywhere anytime soon.
Sure, you always want to speed up a rebuild if possible with free-agent acquisitions, and perhaps that was the intention of Jed Hoyer—pick up a free agent or two each year and have this team ready to compete again by the 2015 season.
Even if that were the case, though, it's still baffling as to why the Cubs would be willing to fork over $15.5 million per season to a guy like Sanchez.
This year's free-agent market is just not worth getting involved with.
The prices on just about every free agent are inflated beyond belief.
Zack Greinke just signed a contract for more money than any other pitcher, and Josh Hamilton was inked to a contract paying him an average of $25 million per season.
Now Anibal Sanchez will earn $16 million per season.
This is a guy that has never posted an ERA lower than 3.55 in a full season of action.
He's not a renowned strikeout pitcher either, as he's only surpassed the eight strikeout per nine inning mark twice in his career.
He's also never hit the 200 innings pitched plateau in a single season, and the lowest WHIP of his career was 1.27—nothing to write home about.
Anibal Sanchez is nothing more than an average starting pitcher.
Yet, on Friday December 14, he signed a contract giving him five years and $80 million.
Thank goodness the Cubs retreated and let the Detroit Tigers sign the 28-year-old right-hander:
Cubs are out on anibal. #tigers look like tiger are likely winner— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) December 14, 2012
Agent Gene Mato Sanchez agrees to 5 year,$80 million deal w #Tigers— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) December 14, 2012
Why the Cubs were even involved in pursuing Sanchez is beyond me, but right now they should be thanking Detroit for saving them from making a costly mistake.