December 17th, 2012
I took a break from my holiday break and made my way to Comerica Park to cover the Anibal Sanchez press conference, the story for which should be up on the site shortly. Agent Gene Mato confirmed it was down to the Tigers and Cubs with dueling offers last Thursday. In the end, Sanchez decided to remain with the Tigers.
“In the end, we were negotiating with both teams,” Mato said. “Fortunately he had a night to sleep on it and he told me he’d make a decision in the morning where he wanted to play. He didn’t want to make a decision based on money. He wanted to make a decision based on where he was going to feel comfortable.”
Here’s an interesting twist, though: When asked if Sanchez left money on the table by accepting the Tigers’ offer, Mato said he did, but not from the Cubs.
“I can say he left money on the table at the Winter Meetings,” Mato said.
That offer came before Zack Greinke signed, a move that supposedly set the market for him. It was from a team other than the Tigers and Cubs, but it was a team where Sanchez didn’t want to play.
“He wasn’t comfortable with that team,” Mato said, “and it wasn’t the Cubs.”
There have been a few major pitching moves to fill starting spots since the Winter Meetings. The Royals traded for James Shields just over a week ago. The Nationals signed Dan Haren before that. The Dodgers, of course, signed Greinke. And now the Blue Jays have traded for R.A. Dickey. The Rangers haven’t done anything on the starting front yet.
For what it’s worth, Mato said the market stayed pretty consistent on Sanchez from the start of the offseason to last week. There wasn’t a whole lot of carryover from the Greinke market.
Other tidbits …
- Here’s how Dave Dombrowski described the decision the Tigers have to make on their starting rotation, now with six starters for five spots: “We’ll just see what happens here over the next time period. We’re not going to do anything to just do something, but if we can rectify that situation in a good fashion, then that’s something we would contemplate.”
- Asked how many inquiries they’ve gotten on their pitchers recently, Dombrowski said: “Numerous.”
- Sanchez’s contract is not backloaded, according to Mato.
- Dombrowski tried to put to bed the Stephen Drew speculation now that Drew has signed with the Red Sox. Dombrowski said Drew’s name came up in conversation with his agent, Scott Boras, over other players Boras represents. “We never pursued trying to sign Stephen Drew,” Dombrowski said.
- Dombrowski was about as definitive as he has been about their shortstop situation, interrupting the follow-up question about Peralta about midway through. “Peralta is our shortstop,” Dombrowski said. That’s a slight shift from the Winter Meetings, when Dombrowski said repeatedly, “We’re happy with Peralta.”
- Asked what’s left to do this offseason, Dombrowski mentioned the right-handed hitting outfield bat, but downplayed anything big coming. “I don’t think we’re going to do anything of major consequence from a dollar perspective,” he said.
- Dombrowski declined to say whether long-term contracts for Justin Verlander and/or Max Scherzer would be the next priorities to address.
- Dombrowski said of his bullpen, “We’re content. We like our bullpen where it sits.”