MLB is taking a second look at Jim Crane

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This probably won’t complicate the sale of the Astros, but Phil Rogers reports that, in the wake of Maury Brown’s Forbes report about the skeletons in Jim Crane’s closet, the league is taking a closer look at his background.

Rogers says that Crane had already been vetted — which makes sense, given how long he’s been flirting with ownership — but that “one of the allegations” in the Brown story is news to the league. Rogers doesn’t say which one, but I’d guess it’s the allegations of war profiteering, which I hadn’t heard anywhere else before Brown reported it.

Ultimately, I’m guessing that if the money is the right color, the deal will go down on schedule.

The Tigers decline Anibal Sanchez’s 2018 option

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From the “this does not surprise us in the very least” department, Tigers GM Al Avila announced today that the club is declining its $16 million option on right-hander Anibal Sanchez.

Sanchez had a terrible year in 2017, going 3-7 with a 6.41 ERA in 2017. That’s a long slide down from his 2013 season, in which he won the AL ERA title, going 14-8 and posting an ERA of 2.57 in the first year of his five-year, $80 million deal. Since then he’s gone 28-35 with a 5.15 ERA. He never started 30 games or more over the course of the contract.

The declination of the option does come with a nice parting gift for Sanchez: a $5 million buyout. Which is pretty dang high for a buyout, but that’s how the Tigers rolled three or four years ago.