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Cubs lose Anibal Sanchez bidding war to Tigers

Kansas City Royals v Detroit Tigers

Kansas City Royals v Detroit Tigers

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Updated: December 14, 2012 11:04AM

The Cubs’ chance to stir a slumbering fan base with Theo Epstein’s first big-ticket signing as club president was quashed this morning when free agent pitcher Anibal Sanchez instead got the Detroit Tigers to outbid the Cubs on a 5-year deal.

Multiple reports had the Tigers securing the return of Sanchez for $80 million — barely $2 million more than the Cubs’ final offer.

This after the Cubs late Thursday afternoon thought they had a deal with the right-hander for five years, $75 million.

Sanchez, 28, appeared to favor the Tigers from the start and leveraged the Cubs offer to get Detroit to significantly raise an initial offer that one report said was worth four years, $48 million.

Sanchez, a member of the Boston Red Sox organization when Epstein was the GM there, spent much of the past seven years with Miami, until being traded to Detroit in July.

He posted a 1.77 ERA in three postseason starts during Detroit’s World Series run.

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