What Greinke deal means for Sanchez, Verlander

Now this offseason market gets real for the Tigers.

I’m off for vacation heading into the holidays, so I won’t be writing about it much the next couple weeks, but I thought it was worth a blog post to set the scene. Because now that Zack Greinke has his deal — reportedly six years and $147 million from the Dodgers — the pitching market is set for others to follow. That includes Anibal Sanchez, regarded by many as the next-best free-agent starter on the market.

For the Tigers’ purposes, that also means Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer, both two years away from free agency (when most teams try to lock up the starting pitchers they covet while security is still a big deal for them).

The belief going into the Winter Meetings was that a Greinke deal with the Dodgers would be good for the Tigers, because it would take this offseason’s biggest spenders out of the market for Sanchez. None of the other potential suitors have the financial might that the Dodgers do with new local television money coming.

Well, Greinke is a Dodger, but it’s no longer a certainty that Los Angeles will stop there. Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports that the Dodgers have interest in both Sanchez and fellow free agent Kyle Lohse. Whether that interest has a financial limit remains to be seen; the Dodgers payroll is picking up speed towards $200 million. But if they’re interested, they’re going to be a major factor that might force the Tigers to make a very difficult decision.

So, too, could the Rangers, if they want to make a pitch for Sanchez after losing out on Greinke. So, too, could a couple other teams. Maybe the Angels, still with room for a starter, try to answer their neighbors’ news. Maybe the Royals, who have made pitching their top priority this winter, could make a run after all. Maybe the Red Sox try to bring back their former prospect. Maybe a contending team in need of a starter has been quietly waiting for the Sanchez bidding to pick up so it can make a move.

Greinke’s contract didn’t get into the $160+ million territory that had been rumored, but it’ll still rank as the highest average annual salary for a right-handed pitcher (CC Sabathia still holds the overall pitching mark at just under $25 million). Sanchez isn’t in that class, but Greinke’s contract will still have a major impact. Sanchez is just four months younger than Greinke, but he has more than 600 fewer Major League innings of wear and tear. He isn’t nearly as proven, but he also isn’t as taxed.

One talent evaluator observing the Sanchez situation at the Winter Meetings said he doesn’t believe Sanchez will get as much money as many might expects. He might get the years, but not the money. That’s all relative, of course, but it’ll be interesting to watch.

But you know who is easily in Greinke’s class, even above it? Justin Verlander. He’s eight months older, and he has more innings, but he has a lot more accomplished on his resume as well. If Greinke is worth just under $25 million, what could Verlander get on the market in two years, still in his early 30s?

It’s the Tigers’ goal to make sure it never gets to that point. It won’t be cheap, but Verlander’s a superstar, and Tigers owner Mike Ilitch loves having superstar players. If it’s going to happen, this is the offseason to do it. But Greinke’s contract shifts the market a little bit, both in money and in years.

Scherzer, too, is two years out from the open market. He doesn’t have nearly the resume, but he’s coming off the best season of his career (though 2010 is close on the secondary numbers). He also has Scott Boras, an agent who eschews long-term contracts before a pitcher hits the open market. If the Tigers are going to make Scherzer a Tiger for years to come, it is not going to be easy. What Greinke’s deal does for Scherzer is show that you don’t have to be a true ace to get a big-time contract. That, too, is dangerous for the Tigers.

62 Comments

Verlander: 200/7 . The two years remaining in his contract plus 5 more. Add some bonus for Cy Young and WS.
Scherzer? trade him before he break his arm. He was injured at the end of the season and that is the sign of the coming time for him.
Fister is a legit top starter and can sub for him
Sign Sanchez or Jackson or even better trade for the remaining Tampa´s starter next year

Grienke got a ridiculous amount of money for anyone, but especially for a guy who is barely above average.

The reality of big market TV and public dollars make this like buying any other product when the shopper has deep pockets. The seller can set the price. Remember,every man’s junk is another man’s treasure. Sanchez has value, but only every 5 days, and then only at 50-50 W to L. There are arms in the farm system who can do that. A bigger concern is SS, especially for the future. It is a shame we may have lost Turner and Brantly for 2 guys named Sanchez and Infante, but, hey we went to the Biggest Show in MLB. The Tiger tickets are still a bargain, but keep throwing the millions at these so-so ballpalyers, and we will all be watching the games on cable. I love baseball, but the Agents and big markets have taken America’s game and made it nothing more than $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ on the scorecard. What happened to the team heros….like Kaline, Horton etc etc. I believe Verlander is that type of player. Yes he wants to be paid, but look at his stats. I say give him an extension now, paying him $147,000,001.00 and move on.
P.S. The Tigers need to find a way to keep Brennan Boesch. Just teach him to hit the ball before releasing the bat. Watch his swing and you can see him let go with his bottom hand and then make contact. Brennan, please take the tennis swing out of baseball. He has too much potential. GO TIGERS IN 2013. A fan for 56 years.

You know,the danger in locking up players, particularly pitchers, on extended contracts is the injury factor. Throw in potential performance decline with age and clubs are gambling big with the future. If things don’t play out well, then the club is stuck without an impact player as well as the financial fallout of possibly paying out over years with little or no return.

Consider Bonderman’s situation for the Tigers as an example.

And ARod, Jeter, Bonilla, Abreu, Jones etc.

147 MM wont do it. The question now is who will be the first 200 MM pitcher?
Verlander is not Bondo and losing him is a bigger risk.

Bondo pitched knowing he was injured. It was IRod who pointed he was injured. He was cleared to play and only when he aggravatedit let the team know

Amen to that. He is in the CC, ARod, Jeter and Pujols club.

Add Nate Robertson and Dontrelle Willis to the list of pitchers with little return for Detroit. That’s why you develop as many starting pitchers within as possible . Verlander, Porcello, Smyly. Crosby in 2014/5??? We have traded well, too, the past three seasons. Scherzer, Fister, Sanchez. Our stop gap free agents have worked too. Valverde, Benoit, Penny, and Dotel. Next we hope to have some young relief pitchers become solid in Detroit. Albourquerque ?? Rondon?? Villarreal?? Marte?? In a perfect world, we should trade a veterean bullpen piece and get back a good prospect this trade deadline.

Do you folks that play fantasy baseball have massive TV deals to fall back on?
A club can end up fielding a team of mercenaries that gets booed in their own ballpark during the playoffs.

Avila, Boesch, Dirks, Holaday, and Worth. Those are our young guys. How many play in Detroit this year??

All but Boesch

Yeah, but probably only one starts. Or maybe he gets turned into a platoon guy.

young = risky. this year might be our last good shot at the WS.

Zack Greinke from 2010 to 2012: 604 IP, 3.83 ERA, 106 ERA+, 3.78 K/BB.
Sanchez: 587. IP 3.69 ERA 110 ERA plus 2.57 K/BB

I like Sanchez, for the umpteenth time. He is okay and gives the Tigers a valid chance to win nearly every outing. Sanchez cannot control how the offense produces behind him, so his W-L record is frequently the object of fate.

who wouldn’t like sanchez? for me it comes down to 2 things: a) are you going to sign everyone you “like” and how will the team respond to all the pressure of having a 150M++ payroll? b) what are you going to do with Smyly and Porcello – and if you don’t get a serious piece for trading away porcello I think you’ve made a mistake.

I hope that the Tigers can resign Sanchez, but believe that resigning JV and Max is far more important. So if Illitch wants to dig deep and spend that money on Sanchez, great, but not at the expense of possibly losing one of the other two.

I half agree. Max is a no go- not because he isn’t awesome but longevity. Doug Fister = now you are talkin!

JV has to love this. Let’s that he will forego some money for good of the team and security. Tigers need to extend JV and Miggy now to take them out to they turn 40. Production obviously will be down but both will probably be going for historical numbers and I think their production will be good enough to justify the money!

Big problem ahead for the Tigers? Axisa posted on MLBTR that the Dodgers will target Sanchez if they do not sign Ryu by the 4pm CT deadline. The Dodgers have become baseball’s biggest spender. They absorbed over $300M in payroll last year, most of which came from the Red Sox blockbuster. They are the first ever $200M NL team and figure to boast the largest payroll in MLB history, with 4 $20M players.

They have Beckett and Ramirez.. That enough to sink that ship

Yeah, Beckett is one of their six starters under contract. Ryu or Sanchez will make 7. A trade is obviously coming.

Add in Greinke when his deal is done and it will be 8 starters.

We discussed the no trade clause a few posts ago and how some players/ agents use it as a negotiatig tool, usually for money. Young reportedly waived his no trade for $1.2M in benefits from the Rangers.

More Tiger trouble? Axisa also posted the Rangers look to be bidders on Sanchez.

I think that greinke is way overpaid. All that does is make other players who are better or equal want these obscene contracts thus making it harder for certain teams to keep their players or sign a decent player. I cant wait a few years down the road when the dodgers are eating all that money they spent. It takes more then just a bunch of overpaid players to win a championship.

This is sounding worse all the time. Heyman speculated the Dodgers may well go after Sanchez or Lohse even if they sign Ryu.

Have you read Reminiscences of a Stock Operator ?That is the way a stock is inflated .
They are already 33 MM over the luxury tax. So speculating is not the proper word .
And they can go for them,they will need then to sell or trade low their current starters because no matter is as someone said they are spending as if they are printing the money there is only space for 25 players in the roster.

I am not sure what you mean. To speculate means to engage in conjectural thought. I agree about the Dodgers obviously needing to trade starters, as I posted earlier. They cannot carry 8 of them.

Many rumors are fabrications to increase clicks , other are a way to increase the value of the players beyond the market value and too many just lies

Anyway as we say here : rumors are no good but are entertaining

I see. Entertaining for sure.

And talking about roster, the Tigers are a little crowded too:
With Castellanos or Garcia making it , there are 3 position players in excess: Koubernus, Santiago, Worth, Boesch, Berry for two spots
And after adding Rondon or a new closer, there are two pitchers in excess.
And that before signing Sanchez

I’ve heard that Boesch, Santiago, and Porcello could be traded. If they sign Sanchez, maybe they make some of those type of moves for decent prospects, freeing up roster space.

Stephen Fife P (Dodgers) How about seeing if he is available?? Slot him in at Toledo. No on NC and AG making it unless they flat out beat out AD for LF. What we want this year is open competion for the back ups. Holaday should have to beat out Mc Cann and Cabrera at least for C. Danny Worth needs to get PT @ 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, LF, RF in ST. Should I add C???!!! If he can do that IF-OF thing, then Santiago or Berry s/b traded. Berry is a CF who deserves a chance to win a job with another team. Boesch?? What if V-Mart plays 15 games in April and then hits the DL for 15 to 45 days. In 2011, he only missed 15 games . Do we have someone better than Boesch to DH for that length of time??? Not sure. He has the only bat with potential pop. Should be some interesting competition. Does anyone see Brandon Inge and Don Kelly getting minor league deals with an invite to camp??

Fife has a mixed MiLB record, but showed well when he filled in for the Dodgers last season. He did, however, have some control issues. Toledo sounds like a good fit for him as he can definitely be considered an inventory guy. What would it take to get him?

With a potential $200 mm payroll, may be just cash considerations.

Ryu to the Dodgers. Confirmed 8 starters. Hope Heyman is wrong and they lay off Sanchez.

All it means is that the Dodgers are in a ‘win now’ mode also, and spending like crazy to do it. They just overpaid that Korean LHP who hasn’t played an inning of Major League baseball. I think they’re gambling too much, though, and there’s a good chance the Dodgers will crash and burn…
–Mike

http://minoringinbaseball.com/

It would be smart to have Berry and Kopernus, if the latter can hit at least decently. Berry batted .250 I might remind you and gives us a sb opportunity every time he gets on base or someone gets on base for him. When he started however, that late inning pinch runner who could steal a base was not on the roster. Having two threats would be good for the team and force ol fuddy duddy to run a little bit!

Ramon and Berry are yesterday’s children. Sorry, but I don’t see them happening here. Berry can’t hit. He pretty much has no clue at the plate. He is not an Ichiro or a Pierre. He does not have a good eye for the ball and able to manipulate it much. If he could he would be useful.
Ramon has simply aged. His fielding has slipped and that is unfortunate because he, at one time, was as gifted defensively as a guy could be.
It’s Danny Worth’s time to be THE utility guy. That in itself breeds confidence. Kobernus (sic) should be able to fill in and replace Berry, Kelly and Santiago in one fell swoop.

Rondon tonight: 13 pitches, 10 strikes, 7 consecutive, K, 3 outs. It was not a saving opportunity. He will throw 6 more innings. The Tigers set a 20 inning limit.
The TV commenter who worked or works as scout for the Twins mentioned him as a setup next year. Here, few are aware that he could be the closer.
He also mentioned that his size affects his mechanics making him wild sometimes when he is throwing at 100 plus.
He used his curve and slider a couple of times and it worked.

Kasten promised, when he took over as president of the Dodgers 7 months ago, the team would be aggressive to get better quickly. Kasten indicated the Dodgers would think big and would be a franchise others are measured against. Kershaw, Greinke, Gonzo, Ramirez, Beckett, Kemp, Ethier, Crawford, et al. are a pretty impressive group on paper thus far.

I read the Dodgers are at an MLB historical high for annual salary, $225M and climbing.

Other than the luxury tax, there’s nothing in place to stop the Dodgers or any team from spending unheard of sums for personnel. They will do what they do, and the other 29 teams will move on within their budgets, whatever those budgets allow. The Dodgers will win or they won’t, but I prefer having the premiere players spread throughout the leagues for the most part. It’s still baseball and the games still have to be played.

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Will the Dodgers have to release some of these starting pitchers and eat the money?? Three of the guys will be over 35 this season. We could not get a trade for Inge last spring. Why would anyone make a trade to give them puzzle parts???

Maybe have to eat some money. Kasten said he does not want to pursue talent on an annual basis as he has just done. He believes in developing talent through a farm system. Kasten’s track record with the Braves and later helping to establish the foundation of today’s Nats speaks favorably for him. So, Capuano, Harang and Lilly will probably go, likely for prospects to pitching starved teams. They really don’t need much in the way of puzzle parts.

James Shields in the KC rotation. Now THAT’S news.

Wade Davis is pretty good too. Trouble on the horizon for the Tigers?

He gives KC pitching depth and could end up as a starter again. Although, he was very good in relief last year.

Yes, the AL Central will be a competitive dogfight again in 2013.

Yeah, KC could be a real problem, particularly when you factor in their bullpen. There are some lethal arms in that group.

texas becomes the favorite to sign sanchez now that the LAs and KC have made their rotation moves

KC rotation becomes Shields, Chen, E Santana, Guthrie, W Davis. difficult to predict what those last 3 guys will do…other than Santana giving up HRs in bunches

Duffy and/or Paulino could eventually work into that mix.

Detroit better get “better”. KC will be formidable.

To me, it’s the first tangible evidence of what I’ve suspected all along; that is, Detroit won’t be able to sleepwalk their way to the division next season. Jim’s “la de da” attitude won’t work. There’s a reason why most teams don’t go to the postseason every year.

We now have a backup catcher, folks.

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