The first Tigers rumor starting day 3 of MLB's Winter Meetings involves, unsurprisingly, Anibal Sanchez.
Sanchez's representatives were reportedly insulted at the Tigers opening offer of 4 years, $48 million. The team will need to up the ante in order to avoid insulting Sanchez's representatives again. Fox Sports' Jon Paul Morosi tweeted this morning the Tigers starting pitcher has "multiple five-year offers" on the table.
There is no word which teams have offered five year contracts or the total cash outlay. It was previously reported the Angels, Dodgers, Royals, Red Sox, and a mysterious "mystery team," along with the Tigers, were bidding for Sanchez's services.
Why Sanchez has yet to agree to one of the several offers on the table is the Zack Greinke negations, which should set the contract bar for free agent pitching.
According to Chris Iott of Mlive, the Tigers will ultimately be also rans in the Sanchez sweepstakes. Though he believes Sanchez won't get the six or seven year deal he prefers, with so many teams in on the bidding, someone will come close enough to his $90 million asking price to seal the deal.
That team won't be the Tigers.
The Tigers are still talking to Sanchez, but from all accounts, are not willing shell out crazy money for a middle of the rotation guy. Considering Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer will be free agents in 2015 (Doug Fister is a free agent in 2016), they can't afford to allow Sanchez setting the contract bar that damn high.
Think of it this way. If the Tigers give Sanchez a deal approaching $90 million, it's not hard to imagine negotiations for Scherzer starting at well over $100 million and Verlander asking for a deal starting with a two and followed by eight zeros. Meaning the Tigers would have at least $400 million in salary wrapped up in three starting pitchers.
The Tigers are far from cheapskates, but that is the sort of cash outlay which would make even a desperate to win a World Series billionaire like Mike Ilitch say, "WHOA!"
It's looking more and more like the Tigers' starting rotation for 2013 will not include Anibal Sanchez.