Oct 27, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Anibal Sanchez (19) reacts after pitching the sixth inning against the San Francisco Giants in game three of the 2012 World Series at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Cubs Fail To Procure Sanchez – What’s Next?

In what was a very excited couple of days complete with high and lows (mostly lows,) the Chicago Cubs were eventually on the losing side of the Anibal Sanchez bidding.

Sanchez, who is one of the current offseason’s hottest pitching commodities, ended up inking a deal with Detroit for 5 years/$80 million. This is a very reasonable price considering the current inflated value of starting pitchers in the market right now.

Alas, it is a real kick in the pants for the Cubs. They were hustled by Sanchez’s agent throughout the entire process which is really what any good agent should do. Can’t have any hard feelings there.

So why does it still hurt so badly to think that Sanchez could be a Cub right now?

It was essentially a game of cat and mouse with the Cubs. They had thought they were talking exclusively to Sanchez and offered him a 5 year/$75 million contract satisfying his desire for a 5 year contract vs a 4 year which was previous tabled by other teams, including the Tigers. With that contract offer, Sanchez then returned to his host team, Detroit, and offered them an opportunity to match or better the deal. The Cubs, unbeknownst to this tactic were a little miffed when Detroit came back to table with not only a 5th year of service, but an extra $5 million to offer as well.

This is where the Cubs withdrew their interest. Jaded, they must seek starting pitching elsewhere. I’m sure Sanchez will send a fruit basket to the Cubs’ front office thanking them for the extra $5 million they essentially just made him.

We all knew this offseason could have been a dangerous one for the cubs and it’s quite normal for these sorts of bidding wars to take place. There was always a very real possibility of the Cubs being unable to sign any starting pitchers and this is coming to fruition. It’s ok to be upset, but we certainly can’t blame Sanchez, his agent or the Tigers for that matter.

However, this deal has much more to it than just face value. The Cubs really did need Sanchez on that 5 year deal. He’s a pitcher you can develop a winning team around and could have been an essential building block to a World Series Champion. Now that he’s not available, what’s the next step?

The free agent market for pitching in 2013 is significantly weaker, so the Cubs will likely have to find a way to trade for starting pitching in the next year. It will undoubtedly mean the departure of one of their best prospects in the process, which is some serious opportunity cost when you consider Sanchez could have been had without damaging the farm system as a free agent.

Who’s to say who they’ll target next? This front office is full of surprises.

It’d be foolish to think they don’t have a plan in the works though… It’s just a matter of time.

Next Cubs Game View full schedule »
Friday, Aug 2222 Aug1:20Baltimore OriolesBuy Tickets

Tags: 2012 Anibal Sanchez Chicago Cubs

  • Jeff

    Hmmm!!! 35 at bats!?!?!?

    You say on the 10th you wrote a prospect check on Sappelt with concerns on swing and mechanics and are now wondering why this 5’9″ guy suddenly is getting power, and now, 6 days later, you’re inserting him into the Cubs starting line-up.

    Could you sum up all the possible reason for this new found hitting in just 35
    at bats to a category heading called…”Hot Streak!” HMMM!!!! Wasn’t there a 1st baseman-Allstar for the Cubs this year that was to also play 1st and platoon in right field that could also only hit pitching from left handers and not right handers (or vice versus) and be a key piece to the Cubs 100 year re-build.. Hmm!!! Now let’s see…I think he’s ,,,where…Japan?

    35 at bats….Hmmm! No offense…but could we just at least say he’s Hot right
    now…watch him in the next 35 at bats….and then say he might get invited to
    Spring Training. A 100 year rebuild doesn’t happen in 35 at bats.

    • Andrew Denny

      I’ll go ahead and assume this comment is directed at the Dave Sappelt piece and not this host piece.

      The key to reading any article is the subtlety of the words. You’ll notice I never directly say that Sappelt should be a starter at any point, however COULD be a platoon player.

      Also keep in mind his numbers have been consistently good throughout the VWL, which would suggest he’s improving. The last 35 AB are just a sample frame.

      Naturally, the field of sports writing requires me to cover all sides of the coin – struggling and succeeding. Try to read between the lines and not draw such brash conclusions in the future.

      • Jeff

        Hi Andrew!

        Yes I was speaking of the Dave Sappelt article. Thanks for writing back.

        I like Sappelt a lot when they got him. But my comment on that article is meant to the aspect of what I’ve seen for years is this over stating players and situations; building up hope and then disappointment prevails again and then the next season is this over stating the situation again for the next player. Especially for young players in the minors with potential that get hyped, are rushed to the majors too soon to be the wave of the future and then they are gone. Woods, Pryor were rushed and injured to never have the career they could have. The Cory Patterson everyday players.etc. the lists of disappointment is long!

        I’m very adept in reading word subtly as that is my job. And in reading adeptly, so while you never mentioned the word starter, platoon players are two people sharing a starting position as neither one has the skill sets in all situations to own that starting position. So that is starting; you START one against right handed pitching and the other against left handed pitching; or start a power hitter in a certain ball park; or a slap hitter against a team with weak defense. BUT, Platooning is STARTING, starting two different players

        to meet the situation at hand. But platooning also brings up that neither player is an exceptionally well rounded player. So it is not a solution for a team in rebuilding looking for something for duration. (In contrast, starting one player in a position for say hitting, and then bringing in a better defensive player for that position later in the game is substituting.) So platooning in reality is actually starting. So that is subtlety of words.

        And Andrew, I’m not trying to be critical as I would love to see Sappelt (or ALL the Cubs) be superstars so we wouldn’t have to rebuild; but when you say keep in mind his numbers have been consistently good throughout the VWL; OK, but you never said anything about good numbers throughout the VWL in your article. I can only go by what you wrote, which 6 days ago you wrote you weren’t overly impressed with Sappelt’s swing or mechanics. And now 6 days and 35 at bats later, suddenly it caused you to write this article with the opening: WARNING: The following stat lines in this column may cause drooling, limpness in the extremities, unnatural giddiness, and irrational behavior. Read at your own risk.

        Well that’s a VERY Powerfull, exciting and opening endorsement to depict the tone of the article. And now you’re telling me, don’t look at his last 35 at bats but his overall VWL. OK, but it’s the last 35 at bats that got you droolingly excited, as what you reported on before those 35 at bats. you had concerns. And in those 35 at bats, you couldn’t put a finger exactly on what it is why he’s hitting so HOT, so I suggested lets chalk it up to a HOT streak and see if he keeps doing that well in the next 35 and then make a determination of should we drool. I hope he does.

        BUT, you also include and rather bury the remark, “he’s still struggling slightly vs. LHP ( .211 Avg.) . . .211 is miserable but you call it struggling SLIGHTLY. A .211 is more than slightly and shows there’s still a huge problem going on, not probably so much with bat mechanics as if it was bat mechanics, he would have improved against both RHP & LHP, but something more mental/physical in nature like picking up the pitch or the motion, which was the same issue Brian LaHair had. And supposedly Brian too changed his mechanics to be this future wonder hitter; who also had several .300+ Minor league seasons and they couldn’t even trade him.

        So somehow, the great teams, are able to quietly keep reinventing themselves, especially like the Cardinals, who are plagued with injury prone years, or trade great players and get a couple replacements and still contend most every year. I ‘m enjoy see the Cubs get the rebuild pieces they need and want to see the Cubs win. So when you open the article with Drool.Read At Own Risk.I was excited to Drool over Sappelt. But now you’re telling me to read between the lines. Reading between the lines, means, don’t believe what you are reading. to infer something different from what is plainly indicated; to detect the real meaning as distinguished from the apparent meaning.

        Honestly, I am truly not trying to be harsh, and am not being brash.BUT when you wrote the article about Warning: drooling and irrational behavior, etc..now that’s VERY BRASH!! But now you’re writing me about reading adeptly; you never mentioned starting when platooning means sharing a starting position; how a .211AVG is struggling “SLIGHTLY,” and that I should read between the lines, which in itself means the article was tongue in cheek or not meant to be true but something different from what is plainly written. So that’s what I did,. I read what was plainly written. So reading between the lines means I should not drool and be excited. What you’re telling me is rather contradicting itself. Andrew, that kind of makes no sense.

        I wrote my original comment as I was concerned and have seen so much of over inflated articles on the Cubs to look forward to this player or next season. So I am not sure what to think now about that article when you tell me to read between the lines, which means don’t believe what you read. So Andrew, that kind of fits my whole concern when I made the comment.

        Got to run so am not proof reading this. But I would like to know how Sappelt does in the VWL. Thanks Andrew! Jeff


        • Andrew Denny

          hahah you’re more than right Jeff. I should take a lesson and check my pride sometimes.

          Also, Impressive work. Consider joining us?