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The Tigers insulted Anibal Sanchez with their first offer

Dec 3, 2012, 12:17 PM EDT

Anibal Sanchez Getty Images

Personally, I’d be just fine with a $48 million contract. But for a major league pitcher a mere three games under .500 over the course of his career, I can see how that’d be terribly offensive.

In Sanchez’s defense, he’s probably just listened to the talk that’s pegged him for at least $70 million over five years. And it’s entirely possible that his agent was more “insulted” by a $48 million offer than Sanchez was.

But there’s nothing really insulting about offering $48 million to a guy who has never once won 15 games. He’s never finished in the top 10 in his league in victories or ERA. He has one top 10 finish in strikeouts (6th in the NL in 2011). The only time he’s ever led a league in anything is when he committed five errors, tied for the the most by an NL pitcher, in 2010.

  1. darthicarus - Dec 3, 2012 at 12:20 PM

    Jason Beck & his “source” decry shenanigans on Jon Heyman!

    • darthicarus - Dec 3, 2012 at 12:22 PM

      and also, the $48m can be considered an insult because everyone knows Illitich isn’t afraid to overpay to get players.

    • paperlions - Dec 3, 2012 at 1:14 PM

      Well, there is one guy that won’t be able to follow Heyman on twitter anymore….I’m sure he (Beck) will get over it.

      • historiophiliac - Dec 3, 2012 at 1:51 PM

        You can block people from following you?

      • paperlions - Dec 3, 2012 at 1:52 PM

        Apparently….I’m old and don’t do the twitter….just seen posts before where Heyman has blocked people that questioned or contradicted him.

      • historiophiliac - Dec 3, 2012 at 2:03 PM

        Laughingly, I actually use Twitter — and didn’t know that. My Tweeple must be a genial sort (and it’s a small sample, admittedly).

      • djpostl - Dec 3, 2012 at 4:14 PM

        Heyman has quite a few people blocked lol, including pretty much every writer for Hardball Talk if my memory serves.

  2. proudlycanadian - Dec 3, 2012 at 12:25 PM

    Sure is a lot of posturing going on! Got to drive up the price somehow! The offer was probably for 3 years and $30 million.

  3. skids003 - Dec 3, 2012 at 12:26 PM

    These divas sure have ego, don’t they? $8 mill for a bum, wow.

    • skids003 - Dec 3, 2012 at 12:26 PM

      Sorry $48 mill.

  4. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Dec 3, 2012 at 12:32 PM

    Did you just use ERA and pitcher wins to evaluate Sanchez? #facepalm

    • dwrek5 - Dec 3, 2012 at 12:45 PM

      While I agree they are not the best judge of a pitcher, he is trying to tell the story quickly, not fully breakdown Sanchez. The point was the offer, the audience is the masses. ERA works fine there, no?

      • indyralph - Dec 3, 2012 at 12:58 PM

        It took me less than 1 internet minute to find that Sanchez ranks 16th in fWAR over the last 3 years. It’s not the end all, be all., of course But it’s way more helpful than “not top 10 in ERA”.

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Dec 3, 2012 at 1:15 PM

        I thought the point was that, contrary to Sanchez’ belief otherwise, the offer is commensurate with Sanchez’ accomplishments as a pitcher. The audience is largely the readers who have been told by this very blog that pitchers should not be evaluated by Wins and ERA.

        Similarly, we are told that awards don’t matter, and that the MVP aballot is silly for having more than one place. Then we are given the number of top 10 finishes for MVP when considering HoF worthiness.

        I have no fundamental problem with any of these things on their own. It just seems that posts like this work to the detriment of the effort put in to raise the general level of discourse about player performance.

      • paperlions - Dec 3, 2012 at 1:19 PM

        Never hurts to slowly drag the masses along with you.

        FWIW, being top 16 in fWAR over the last 3 years is really dang good…showing both durability and quality of performance.

      • Just a Fan - Dec 3, 2012 at 1:47 PM

        Are we ever going to be able to watch or discuss baseball without using fwar, WAR or any other combination of mathematical string theory?

        Stop…..just try to enjoy the game and stop over analyzing everything!………….PLEASE

      • dwrek5 - Dec 3, 2012 at 1:49 PM

        @sabathia, good points and I do agree. Maybe one day we’ll all be on the same page. #icandream

      • paperlions - Dec 3, 2012 at 2:02 PM

        If knowing a players fWAR in comparison to all other players at his position affects your enjoyment of the game, that’s your problem. Some people like baseball enough to want to understand what they are seeing…in increases the enjoyment. Feel free to maintain your current level of enjoyment and to allow others to consume baseball however it is they choose.

      • historiophiliac - Dec 3, 2012 at 2:12 PM

        Paper, you don’t have to be insulting about it.

      • paperlions - Dec 3, 2012 at 2:23 PM

        I guess not….people need to understand that analysis beyond their interest level is not “over analysis” and that some/many people may simply be more interested in understanding than they are….I’m not sure that is insulting to say, it is certainly true though….besides, s/he started it

      • historiophiliac - Dec 3, 2012 at 2:47 PM

        Just because someone doesn’t want to run the full barrage of numbers doesn’t mean they aren’t seriously into the game or understand it. Different people have different ways of looking at the world/game. Just because some of us aren’t quants doesn’t mean we like it less. Breaking down the numbers doesn’t do that much for me (and some others). We can agree that we appreciate the game in different ways without looking down on each others’ way of enjoying it though. That said, I agree that you did not start it and were slighted for breaking out the fWARs. :)

      • evan5 - Dec 3, 2012 at 4:41 PM

        So by using ERA and the fact of not leading in a single category we are able to determine he’s a mediocre pitcher.

        And using fWAR, especially in this case, we were able to determine that… he’s a mediocre pitcher.

        There is no point to using advanced metrics to prove a point already simply proven using standard baseball stats like ERA. We gleaned almost nothing additional out of the fWAR number.

      • paperlions - Dec 3, 2012 at 4:45 PM

        Um….being 16th most valuable among all starting pitchers over the last 3 years in NOT mediocre…over 1/2 of MLB teams haven’t had a pitcher as valuable as Sanchez as been the last 3 years.

  5. nategearhart - Dec 3, 2012 at 12:34 PM

    Who cares how many wins he has? May as well state how many toes he has; it’s no less an indicator of value.

    • indyralph - Dec 3, 2012 at 12:45 PM

      I’m glad I’m not the only one who thought this. I don’t have any problem with snark in a blog post, but sheesh. If $48M is not insulting, then this (Matthew’s) post is. Sanchez is a very good pitcher, and this post just mocks him without saying nothing to the contrary. For something his agent said, no less.

      • indyralph - Dec 3, 2012 at 12:46 PM


      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Dec 3, 2012 at 1:18 PM

        It’s a story from Detroit. “Nothing” is perfectly acceptable. 😉

  6. Detroit Michael - Dec 3, 2012 at 1:21 PM

    Sanchez (or really his agent) would be more insulted if the Tigers said “we’d like to resign you, but our expectations are so far away from your asking price that we’re not even going to make an opening offer.” What’s the alternative?

  7. purnellmeagrejr - Dec 3, 2012 at 1:44 PM

    DIdn’t Sanchez throw a perfect game /or no hittter a few years ago? I ask this because I reallly don’t remember.

    • Just a Fan - Dec 3, 2012 at 1:52 PM

      Yes……On September 6, 2006, Sánchez threw a no-hitter for the Florida Marlins. In a 2–0 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks, Sánchez went nine innings at home to record the feat. He walked four batters and struck out six, throwing 103 pitches.

  8. edelmanfanclub - Dec 3, 2012 at 3:35 PM

    Someone please insult me with 48 million dollars!! Sanchez isn’t worth 90 mill but could get something like 5 years, 65-70 mill

  9. onbucky96 - Dec 3, 2012 at 4:11 PM

    Please tell me his agent is Scott Boras…$90 million over 6 yrs. Put the pipe down, you’re an Agent not a Pimp.

  10. joegolfer - Dec 4, 2012 at 2:53 AM

    He’s 28 years old, so he should be in his prime years right about now.
    But he’s also slight in size, at only six feet tall and 180 lbs.
    He’s not a dominating pitcher.
    He’ll probably get more than the initial offer, simply because almost every pitcher is paid handsomely nowadays, but 90 million over 6 years sounds ridiculous.
    If his agent thinks he’s so good, take the current offer, but add a bunch of incentive laden bonus clauses, plus a clause that he gets a another year added on at a large salary if he lives up to certain expectations.
    It’s a shame that these guys are so greedy, considering they’ll make many times more in one year than most folks make in a lifetime.

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