UPDATE: Bob Nightengale reports that, per Sanchez’s agent, Sanchez has agreed to a five-year, $80 million deal with the Tigers.
9:20 AM: Last night’s crazy uncertainty about Anibal Sanchez seems to be over. Jon Heyman just reported that the Cubs have pulled out of the bidding for Sanchez, which presumably means the Tigers are going to land him.
As of this morning, Ken Rosenthal said that the Cubs had upped their offer to five-years, $77.5 million. So, apparently, the Tigers topped that. Which is weird given that Heyman is hearing that they’re at $75 million. There has to be some sort of disconnect here. Either that’s old information on the Tigers’ last bid or else the Cubs pulled their $77.5 million offer off the table. Or, possibly, that was bad information.
Certainly confusing stuff, but understandable when a bidding war is afoot.
Maury Brown of Forbes reports that T-Mobile will be the new naming rights partner for the Seattle Mariners’ ballpark beginning in 2019. Their park had been known as Safeco Field since it first opened in the summer of 1999. The 20-year naming rights deal with Safeco ended with the close of the 2018 season.
Brown reports that the deal will be around $3 million a year, which doesn’t seem like a whole lot. Then again, I have long been skeptical of how much naming rights actually bring back to the naming rights partner. That’s especially true when the partner is slapping its name on a ballpark that was known as something else beforehand. People tend to still use the old name and, I suspect, resent the new one a bit. Maybe that’s less the case when the park has only been known by corporate names, and no beloved traditional name is being displaced, but I still question if anyone really makes a single purchasing decision based on the name of a ballpark.
I know this much for sure, though: despite the relatively small cost of naming rights here, none of the most notable Seattle-based companies — which include Amazon, Starbucks, Nordstrom, Microsoft, Costco and Alaska Airlines — felt it was worth it. Possibly because they know people are gonna call the place “Safeco” for several years regardless.