By: Eric Thomas

Eighty million for a number four starter. I understand it’s not my money so I shouldn’t care. I understand that you need to spend money to win in baseball, unless you’re the Oakland A’s. I understand that the Tigers are close and need to jam their foot on the gas, but isn’t this getting a little ridiculous?

It’s widely known that Mike Ilitch’s unrealized dream is to win a World Series. I totally get that. I am sure that seeing Sanchez walk away after his postseason performance would have been a little nauseating. But the Tigers have Rick Porcello and Drew Smyly, and a few others. Was it nice to have Anibal down the stretch last year, but was he $80 million nice to have around?

The Tigers need to win now, because they can’t possibly afford to keep spending this much. They might need to sell tickets to people who seek to stand outside the bars at Comerica Park. They might need to be like the troll from the billy goats gruff, demanding a stipend for all who shall pass. I understand that revenues have never been fatter for teams, but currency is a finite resource. It doesn’t seem like it for the Tigers at the moment, but trust me it’s true. Sanchez put up good numbers last year, especially wearing a Tiger uniform. If you believe the nerds at fangraphs, he is projected to have another stellar season.

If Sanchez is $80 million, then how much is Verlander worth? What about Fister, the #2 starter? Scherzer, whose strike zone pounding pitches drew some Cy Young mentions from national media sources? How much is Miggy worth, if the number 4 starter is $80 million? By signing Sanchez to this deal, the Tigers don’t just inflate the market for overall baseball but they inflate the market for their own team.

So is Porcello just a bullpen guy now? Are the Tigers just going to go with an all right hand rotation? Is this going to be yet another one of those contracts where we rue the day it ever happened? All things are possible. Could this be the final piece of a World Series puzzle? Sanchez was a door slammer down the stretch, and if Hunter and V-Mart bring the bats and Prince remembers how to play baseball after October 1st, this team looks frightening.

I said last year that the Tigers need to win next year before the window closes. I stand by that. I am concerned about the dearth of lefties in the rotation and bullpen, but outside of that this team has no glaring weakness. But they need to win next year just so they don’t drive down the value of the currency.

I’m kidding. Sort of.


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