Anibal Sanchez Rumors

Cubs In Serious Talks With Anibal Sanchez

The Cubs are in serious discussions with Anibal Sanchez on what could be a five-year, $75MM contract, reports FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal.  The Tigers are also "still a threat" to re-sign the free agent right-hander.

Cubs Out On Anibal Sanchez

8:16am: The Cubs are out on Sanchez and the Tigers look like they'll win the bidding for him, Jon Heyman of reports (Twitter links). Heyman suggests that the Tigers are positioned to sign Sanchez, barring a last-minute mystery team.

FRIDAY, 8:03am: The Cubs have increased their offer to $77.5MM, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports (on Twitter). The Tigers have offered the right-hander $75MM.

THURSDAY, 10:45pm: Sanchez won't make a decision tonight and will continue talking with both the Cubs and Tigers tomorrow, reports Bob Nightengale (via Twitter).

6:10pm: If the Tigers do top the Cubs' offer, USA Today's Bob Nightengale says Sanchez will sign with Detroit, thus seemingly shutting the Cubs out of a chance to counter.  The Tigers had offered a four-year contract to Sanchez, Nightengale says, and CBS Sports' Danny Knobler adds that Detroit was believed to be hesitant to go to five years for Sanchez (both  Twitter links).

5:57pm: The Tigers are being given a "last chance" to match the Cubs' offer, reports Bob Nightengale.  The Cubs thought they had a done deal with Sanchez.

5:08pm: The deal is not yet complete, as Sanchez's agent Gene Mato tells CBS Sports' Jon Heyman that he is still talking to other teams.  Sources tell Heyman that the Tigers are still "very much in [the] mix."  (both links to Twitter) 

4:50pm: The Cubs have given their rebuilding process a major boost by agreeing to sign free agent right-hander Anibal Sanchez to a five-year contract, reports Bob Nightengale of USA Today.  The deal could be worth $75MM, reports FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal, who said earlier today that the two sides were close to an agreement.  The contract will become official once Sanchez passes a physical.  Sanchez is represented by Mato Sports Management.

The signing is a surprise given that the Cubs were thought to be at least a year away from pursuing big-ticket free agents, instead signing such low-cost/high-upside pitchers as Scott Baker and Scott Feldman and signing Japanese closer Kyuji Fujikawa this winter.  Yet, it was Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer and company who outbid five other teams (including the Tigers) for Sanchez's services, according to Nightengale (Twitter link).  Sanchez, 28, is young enough to be a key rotation piece for the next contending Cubs team, and Chicago now has an ace atop what looks like a very solid rotation that also includes Matt Garza, Jeff Samardzija, Travis Wood and one of Baker or Feldman.

Sanchez was ranked as the fourth-best free agent available by MLBTR's Tim Dierkes, and the second-best pitcher behind only Zack Greinke.  The righty has posted a 3.70 ERA, an 8.1 K/9 rate, a 2.89 K/BB ratio and an average of 196 innings over the last three seasons with the Marlins and Tigers, also pitching very well in three postseason starts for Detroit last October.

This post was first published on December 13th, 2012.

Red Sox Notes: Swisher, Sanchez, Lohse

To this point in the offseason, the Red Sox have focused on adding offense. That will make a difference, but they still must address a pitching staff that allowed more runs than all but two American League teams in 2012. Here are the latest Red Sox-related rumors…

  • The Red Sox have kept in contact with the representatives for Nick Swisher throughout the offseason, Rob Bradford of reports. Boston executives have maintained contract with the MVP Sports Group client even after reaching agreements with Shane Victorino and Mike Napoli, Bradford adds.
  • However, the Boston outfield is set barring a trade, so Swisher doesn't appear to be a fit, Jon Heyman of reports (Twitter links). Heyman adds that a trade involving Jacoby Ellsbury seems "very unlikely."
  • The Red Sox will turn their attention to starting pitching and consider everyone from Anibal Sanchez and Kyle Lohse on down, Heyman reports. GM Ben Cherington seeks value, according to Heyman. Check out MLBTR's Free Agent Tracker for a look at the remaining unsigned starters.
  • Here's the latest on Mike Napoli, whose deal with Boston hasn't been finalized.

Latest On The Rangers: Upton, Pierzynski, Dickey

The Rangers lost out on a trade target when the Royals acquired James Shields last night, just days after losing out on free agent target Zack Greinke. Things aren't going exactly as they've planned this offseason, and Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports has a host of Rangers updates in his latest column…

  • A rival executive told Rosenthal that the Rangers are either going to overpay Josh Hamilton or overpay Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers for Justin Upton. Rangers GM Jon Daniels is so focused on Upton that he figures to eventually land him, writes Rosenthal.
  • It's not completely out of the question that the Rangers could acquire Upton and still sign Hamilton now that Greinke is off the table.
  • Anibal Sanchez is a long shot for the Rangers, but he's on their radar. A trade for R.A. Dickey is also unlikely at this point.
  • The team is said to prefer lower-cost starters and could pursue someone like Chris Capuano in a trade to provide an upgrade over Martin Perez.
  • The Rangers are interested in A.J. Pierzynski, who would obviously push Geovany Soto into a backup role. Pierzynski's left-handed bat would help to balance a heavily right-handed lineup.
  • Ian Kinsler isn't big on the idea of shifting to first base one year into his five-year extension in order to allow Jurickson Profar to play second base, but he will play wherever he's asked.
  • Daniels tells Rosenthal he's not planning on Kinsler switching positions yet and is considering all possible scenarios for the 2013 roster.
  • A three-team deal with the Rangers, Diamondbacks and Indians was "very close" to happening at the Winter Meetings. The foundation of the deal was Upton to Texas, Cabrera to Arizona, and Mike Olt and one of Trevor Bauer or Patrick Corbin to Cleveland. Presumably, other names were involved.

NL West Notes: Greinke, Dodgers, Padres

The defending World Series champions play in the NL West, but the Giants are not the ones making the biggest headlines. Here’s the latest from the division, starting in Los Angeles…

  • Barring something unexpected, the Dodgers are finished in the starting pitching market according to Olney (on Twitter).
  • Zack Greinke signed for $147MM over six years, and he could earn even more money by opting out three seasons from now, as Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports explains. The Dodgers awarded Greinke the opt-out as a compromise, as the right-hander initially sought a seven-year deal with a no-trade clause, Rosenthal reports.
  • One evaluator told's Buster Olney that the Giants are still a better team than the Dodgers despite Los Angeles' aggressive spending. The Dodgers have questions on the left side of the infield and might be vulnerable against left-handed pitching, Olney writes.
  • The Dodgers have discussed Kevin Youkilis and Anibal Sanchez, Danny Knobler of reports. Sanchez may be more of a longshot given the Dodgers' internal rotation options. The team appears to have interest in dealing Aaron Harang, but Chris Capuano has drawn more trade interest, Knobler reports.
  • The Dodgers have talked to the Pirates about Capuano,'s Buster Olney reports (on Twitter).
  • Rosenthal wonders if the Padres could be a fit for Edwin Jackson, but concludes that San Diego probably won’t sign the free agent right-hander if he’s positioned to command a four or five-year deal (Twitter links). Padres executives Josh Byrnes and A.J. Hinch previously worked with Jackson in Arizona.

Zack Greinke Signing Reaction

Zack Greinke's record-setting six-year, $147MM contract with the Dodgers will have a ripple effect throughout baseball.'s Peter Gammons lists five things to watch for in the aftermath of Greinke's signing including what kind of deal will Casey Close, who represents both Greinke and his new teammate Clayton Kershaw, be able to negotiate for the young left-hander. Other aftershocks include:

  • The Rays may be in a better position to deal one of their starting pitchers, as their value should be enhanced in talks with the Rangers, Royals, Diamondbacks, Rockies, or whichever other teams are interested, according to the Tampa Bay Times' Marc Topkin
  • After losing out on Greinke, the Rangers will turn their attention to R.A. Dickey, James Shields, and possibly Anibal Sanchez, writes Richard Durrett of
  • Rangers GM Jon Daniels told reporters, including T.R. Sullivan of, "We'd like to add to our starting depth and we'd like to acquire an impact guy. But we're not casting a wide net to add a starter at any cost."
  • The Tigers are affected both short-term and long-term, opines's Jason Beck. Short-term, the Tigers could benefit because the Greinke signing should take the Dodgers out of the bidding for Sanchez and no other suitor for the right-hander has such superior financial resources. Long-term, potential contract extensions for Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer (represented by SFX and Scott Boras, respectively, according to MLBTR's Agency Database) could become much more expensive. 
  • Earlier today, we learned how one executive believes the entire economic landscape of the game is going to change drastically because of the Dodgers' spending. And, the Greinke signing will not allay those fears.

Dodgers Notes: Greinke, Sanchez, Ryu

As the Angels and Marlins can attest to, money doesn't always buy championships, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports writes.  Last night, 2009 AL Cy Young Award winner Zack Greinke agreed to a six-year, $147MM deal, boosting both their rotation and payroll.  The Dodgers look stellar on paper, but Rosenthal cautions that inflated salaries often lead to inflated egos, raising the possibility of locker room turmoil.  Here's more on the Dodgers..

  • If the Dodgers don't sign Hyun-Jin Ryu today, they will shift their focus to free agent pitcher Anibal Sanchez, a source tells Jim Bowden of (via Twitter).  The Dodgers have until 4pm CST to ink a deal.
  • A Dodgers source told Bowden (via Twitter) that he expects the talks with Ryu to go right down to the wire.
  • Last night, the Dodgers established that they are the financial heavyweights of baseball, not the Yankees, writes Joel Sherman of the New York Post.  Greinke will become the fourth Dodger to average $20MM or more a season on his contract, joining Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, and Matt Kemp.
  • It's easy to understand why Greinke chose the Dodgers over the Rangers, writes Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.  The right-hander was said to be impressed by the presentation of Nolan Ryan and advisor Greg Maddux but ultimately chose to align with the free-spending Dodgers.
  • Dodgers manager Don Mattingly understands the kind of must-win pressure he'll face in 2013 from his time playing for George Steinbrenner with the Yankees, Buster Olney of (via Twitter).

Rangers Still Interested In Acquiring Justin Upton

Even though they've lost out on Zack Greinke, the Rangers still have interest in acquiring Justin Upton according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter). Jon Heyman of says (on Twitter) Texas might also look into free agents Anibal Sanchez, Michael Bourn, and Kyle Lohse.

The Rangers have been discussing three- and four-team trade scenarios with the Diamondbacks about Upton in recent days. The Rays, Indians, Mariners, and Royals have all been connected to the blockbuster at some point. Texas reportedly hoped to both acquire Upton and sign Greinke, so they could now pursue a trade for R.A. Dickey or James Shields to satisfy their pitching needs.

Zack Greinke Rumors: Friday

Angels GM Jerry Dipoto told reporters yesterday that he's "prepared to move on from Zack Greinke." Even the Dodgers are considering moving on, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported yesterday. The Rangers maintain interest in the free agent right-hander, but there's not much clarity beyond that. Here are the latest rumors surrounding Greinke with the most recent updates up top…

  • The Angels are "very unlikely" to make a last-minute play for Greinke as they did last year with Albert Pujols, a source tells ESPN's Jim Bowden (Twitter link).
  • Also from Bowden's Twitter feed, a Dodgers source says that if the team can't sign Greinke, it will explore a trade for R.A. Dickey or pursue Anibal Sanchez in free agency.  Sanchez is the Dodgers' top choice ahead of Kyle Lohse amongst free agent starters.

Earlier updates:

  • Nolan Ryan and the rest of the Rangers front office blew Greinke away, Jim Bowden of ESPN and MLB Network Radio reports (on Twitter). Greinke apparently loves the team's chances of winning the World Series.
  • The Dodgers are pessimistic about their chances of signing Greinke, Mark Saxon of reports. GM Ned Colletti had a memorable response when asked if he was on the doorstep of signing the free agent right-hander. "We're not on the front lawn. … We're barely out of the car at the curb. It's better than driving around the neighborhood looking for the house. We know where the house is located. We just can't seem to get out of the car."
  • Many trade and free agent possibilities are on hold as teams wait to see where Greinke will sign, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports. Greinke knows the Dodgers and Rangers are serious about signing him, but he now appears to be uncertain about his next step. The Rangers would prefer to sign Greinke, trade Michael Young to Philadelphia and acquire Justin Upton, Nightengale reports.

Zack Greinke Rumors: Wednesday

The battle for Zack Greinke might be down to just the Dodgers and the Rangers, and the bidding could exceed CC Sabathia's record $161MM contract. Here's the latest on the market's top free agent, with the newest information listed first…

Earlier updates:

  • There's a growing sense among Dodgers personnel that Greinke will end up with the Rangers, tweets Scott Miller of CBS Sports. They feel that if Greinke really wanted to pitch for them, he'd have signed by now.
  • Greinke's wife Emily, a former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader, could influence her husband to get back to Texas, hears Joel Sherman of the New York Post.  Now I'm reminiscing about all the Amber Sabathia-related rumors from four years ago.  Sherman hears the Greinke deal will get done at these Meetings or shortly thereafter.
  • An Angels person told Danny Knobler of CBS Sports a $160MM+ offer for Greinke is "going to blow us out of the water."
  • While the Angels remain in touch with Greinke, an Angels person tells Heyman a Greinke signing would be more shocking than their Albert Pujols deal was a year ago.
  • Jon Heyman of notes (via Twitter) that while the Greinke sweepstakes seem to be a battle between the Dodgers and Rangers, a third team could certainly enter the fray at any time. Could that team be the Angels? Manager Mike Scioscia told Jim Bowden on MLB Network Radio that L.A. is still involved in negotiations (Twitter link). However, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports (via Twitter) that the Angels appear to be more focused on the tier of free agent pitchers below Greinke. Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times agrees, tweeting that it's "highly unlikely" the Angels exceed $20MM+ annually for a pitcher.
  • The Dodgers spoke with Greinke's representatives today, though it's not clear where talks stand, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. According to Rosenthal, the Dodgers hope to sign two starting pitchers, perhaps even aiming as high as Greinke and Anibal Sanchez.
  • There's a "strong belief" by people close to the situation that Greinke could beat Sabathia's $161MM contract, according to Jon Heyman of Heyman adds that a deal is possible within the next couple days (Twitterlinks).
  • The "big buzz" in Nashville this morning is to watch out for the Rangers on Greinke, tweets Jayson Stark.
  • Greinke is more involved in the process than many other free agents who let their representation handle the bulk of the work, writes ESPN's Jayson Stark. He'll take his time to decide, and in the meantime the rest of the starting pitching market will be on hold, as they await his decision. One executive joked to Stark about the amount of money Greinke will make: "I'm not sure it'll all fit in a Brinks truck. It might be a semi trailer."
  • During the 2012 season, the Brewers let Greinke know that they'd be open to discussing an extension in the five-year, $100MM range, according to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. However, Greinke and agent Casey Close decided to wait, figuring they could do much better on the open market, and it looks like they'll be proven right, says Haudricourt.