Right-handed pitcher Anibal Sanchez agreed to an $80 million, five-year contract with the Detroit Tigers, a person familiar with the deal said.

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DETROIT — The Detroit Tigers have made another major move to help their quest to win a World Series for the first time since 1984.

Right-handed pitcher Anibal Sanchez agreed to an $80 million, five-year contract with the Tigers, a person familiar with the deal said Friday. The person, speaking on condition of anonymity because the agreement hadn’t been finalized, said Sanchez is scheduled for a physical Monday.

Sanchez was a part of Detroit’s four-man rotation that led the franchise to the World Series this year. He had a 1.77 earned-run average in 20-1/3 innings over three postseason starts, but was 1-2 because Detroit was shut out in each of his losses.

“He was big for us in the playoffs; I just wish we scored a couple more runs for him and for our team,” Tigers catcher Alex Avila said. “He’s a big-time pitcher.”

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The Tigers acquired the 28-year-old Venezuelan in July from Miami along with second baseman Omar Infante for right-hander Jacob Turner and two minor-leaguers. As a free agent, Sanchez also was pursued by the Chicago Cubs.

Sanchez is 48-51 with a 3.75 ERA since making his major-league debut with the Marlins in 2006.

Justin Verlander leads Detroit’s rotation, which also includes Max Scherzer, ex-Mariner Doug Fister and Sanchez.

Youkilis, Yankees

finalize contract

NEW YORK — After spending 8 ½ years in Boston and delivering two World Series titles to the Fenway Park faithful, Kevin Youkilis was surprised when the New York Yankees expressed interest in fitting him for pinstripes.

“At first, it was kind of like, ‘Wow!’ ” Youkilis said after finalizing a $12 million, one-year contract with New York. “There’s a lot of great Red Sox fans that just wanted the best for me going forward and I know there’s going to be some that don’t like the decision, and you can’t worry about that.”

A three-time All-Star, Youkilis becomes the Yankees’ starting third baseman for at least the first half of next season while Alex Rodriguez recovers from hip surgery. A-Rod’s operation is scheduled for next month.

“Obviously, he certainly cushions the blow of losing Alex,” Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said. “That’s a difficult loss. When you have a healthy Alex Rodriguez, you have really one of the game’s more productive players. But I couldn’t think of anybody better to replace him in the short-term with as Kevin Youkilis.”

While announcing the deal for Youkilis, the Yankees closed in on a $13 million, two-year contract with ex-Mariners outfielder Ichiro, according to a person familiar with the negotiations. The sides still had to finalize language and the deal will be subject to a physical, the source said.

The 39-year-old Ichiro, acquired from Seattle in a trade in July, batted .322 in 67 games for the Yankees this year.

Youkilis, 33, said he plans to speak with Yankees reliever Joba Chamberlain. The pair feuded in the past over tight fastballs.

“It’s not a big deal to me,” Youkilis said. “If it was that big of a deal, I wouldn’t be signing with the Yankees.”

The Yankees were hit with an $18.9 million luxury tax by Major League Baseball, the 10th straight year they will pay a penalty for their spending.


• Free-agent infielder Ty Wigginton, 35, and the St. Louis Cardinals have agreed to a $5 million, two-year contract.

• For almost nine months, 26-year-old Matt Bush, a former Tampa Bay minor-league pitcher, has been in Charlotte County (Fla.) jail, awaiting resolution of the DUI hit-and-run arrest that derailed his big-league dreams.

Next week Bush will agree to a plea deal that will involve a prison sentence of at least three more years, his father, Daniel, said.

“He’s taking it pretty good,” Daniel said. “He’s not crying or sulking. He’s preparing for it.”

Compiled from The Associated Press and Tampa Bay Times.

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