The Cubs had reportedly reached an agreement on a 5-year deal for around $75 million with Anibal Sanchez, but then the report was contradicted by many people. We learned this morning that the Tigers had reached an agreement with Sanchez on a 5-year deal for $80 million.
CAIRO projects a 3.87 ERA, 3.56 FIP and 3.2 WAR for Sanchez in 2013. At the age of 29 we can expect him to get a little worse over the life of the contract. Overall, it's reasonable to expect 13-14 WAR out of him over the 5 years if he stays healthy. If the average win value is around $6.5 million over that span, that makes him worth about $84-91 million.
If we use the -.5 WAR per season for Sanchez, this is what we get over 5 years: 3.2, 2.7, 2.2, 1.7 and 1.2. That's a total of 11 WAR. Using this method makes him worth $71 million.
It appears that $80 million for Sanchez is probably a bit of an overpay, but not by much. Sanchez isn't a number 1 starter. He's more of a number 3 starter on a contending team and possibly a number 2 so he doesn't change the Cubs future outlook.
Over on Windy City Sports Wonk, Myles reaches a similar conclusion:
At first blush, 16 AAV seems like a huge gamble on a player who has had significant injury concerns for a good amount of his career. On the other hand, there is an ever-dwindling market of pitchers that can play at the middle/front of a rotation, and Sanchez has certainly been that guy for the past 3 years.
Kind of sad, but this will give the Cubs at least payroll flexibility. Question is, what's left that they can use that payroll ON?
The Cubs are still years away from contending so it does keep the payroll freed up for when they are contenders. They won't have an aging former better than average pitcher filling the back-end of their rotation. It would have been nice in that it would give us more of a reason to watch than the current rotation, but the Cubs aren't going to miss him.