The Cubs became one of baseball's mystery teams, reportedly swooping in and signing one of the top, if not the best, pitchers on the free-agent market.
Well, this is a surprise, and a pleasant one, according to a tweet from Bob Nightengale:
A five-year deal... well, that might be more than I'd have given Sanchez, but clearly, he was just about the best starting pitcher on the market, and immediately becomes the Cubs' No. 1 starting pitcher.
That gives the Cubs quite a number of options -- they now have some real starting-pitcher depth, even if Scott Baker isn't quite ready in his comeback from Tommy John surgery; they can make a deal later, or even during spring training.
Sanchez turns 29 in February, so the Cubs get his age 29, 30, 31, 32 and 33 seasons; he's now got World Series experience as well as having thrown a no-hitter in his career.
Don't have any information on terms of this deal yet (although some earlier reports said $75 million), but I like it. A lot. (Or alot, if you insist.)