The Detroit Tigers have reportedly re-signed right-handed pitcher Anibal Sanchez, dousing all hopes Cubs fans had at landing the 28-year-old Venezuela native.
According to ESPN, Sanchez agreed to a five-year, $80 million deal with his former team on Friday morning. Prior to re-signing with the Tigers, the Chicago Cubs had offered Anibal $75 million for five years.
Sanchez, who made his MLB debut with the Florida Marlins in 2006, went 9-13 with a 3.86 ERA in 31 starts last season, then posted a 1.77 mark in three postseason outings as Detroit advanced to the World Series.
He will again join Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer and Doug Fister at the top of Detroit’s 2013 rotation. Barring another move by manager Dave Dombrowski, 23-year-olds Rick Porcello and Drew Smyly are likely to compete for the fifth starting spot.
MLB.com notes Porcello has made 120 starts for the Tigers over the past four years, while Smyly posted a 3.99 ERA in 23 games — including 18 starts — as a rookie.
For his career, Sanchez has a 3.75 ERA and 1.35 WHIP across parts of seven major-league seasons. In his rookie season, Anibal threw a no-hitter against the Arizona Diamondbacks which, at the time, ended the longest no-hitter drought in Major League Baseball history.
By re-acquring Sanchez, the Tigers once again put themselves in a favorable spot to win the American League Central division for the upcoming season.
Detroit also signed outfielder Torii Hunter to a two-year, $20 million deal in November and Victor Martinez is expected to make his return this season after sitting out 2012 because of knee surgery.