The Detroit Tigers has won the bidding war for free-agent right-hander Anibal Sanchez, bringing the 28-year-old back to Motown on a five-year, $80 million contract, according to USA Today's Bob Nightengale.
The sweepstakes for the right-hander -- who was pegged as the best pitcher on the free-agent market after Zack Greinke -- came down to the Tigers and the Chicago Cubs, who reportedly exchanged offers for Sanchez until things got a bit too pricey for Epstein and company Friday morning. The Cubs' final offer for Sanchez was believed to be for five years and $77.5 million, just $2.5 million less than he wound up getting from Detroit.
The big payday for Sanchez gives an indication of how Zack Greinke's record deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers may affect the starting pitching market going forward. Detroit's original offer to Sanchez was for four years and $48 million, far less than it eventually took to sign him.