The Chicago Cubs had yet another misreported signing yesterday, when it was rumored that they had agreed to a five-year contract with free agent starting pitcher Anibal Sanchez. After all that, Sanchez has instead opted to re-sign with the Tigers for five years and $80 million.
Sanchez will remain a member of a loaded Detroit rotation that already features Justin Verlander, Doug Fister, and Max Scherzer, with the fifth spot being filled by one of Drew Smyly or Rick Porcello, with the other likely serving as a long reliever for the team or trade bait. Sanchez's re-signing gives the Tigers a nice window of contention with their rotation, as Verlander and Scherzer will be free agents after the 2014 season, while Fister will be headed to the market after 2015.
It might be worth noting that the five year, $80 million contract is the same contract that Verlander got before the 2010 season, and something that will likely be merely a memory when the Tigers are trying to re-sign their ace sometime over the next two seasons. But keeping Sanchez in the fold is huge for the Tigers, giving them the best rotation in the AL Central on paper, and potentially the best in the American League as well.
Where does this leave the Cubs? Well, Chicago needs to look in the mirror and wonder why this is the third time in the last six months that a deal was reported as "done", only for it to come back and bite them in the ass and leave the team empty-handed. First it was the Ryan Dempster trade to Atlanta in July. Then it was the Dan Haren-Carlos Marmol swap last month. Now, it's the Sanchez signing. The Cubs are definitely trying to improve their team, and all three of the "done" moves would have done that moreso than what actually happened. But the moves didn't happen, and the Cubs look like a bumbling organization of fools now. There's a leak somewhere around that franchise that needs to be plugged so that the new regime in charge of the team doesn't come off like they can't control their own employees.