Blog Entry

The Pirates and Freddy Sanchez trade talk

Posted on: July 12, 2009 8:06 pm
Edited on: July 12, 2009 8:47 pm

ST. LOUIS -- Freddy Sanchez's inclusion onto the National League All-Star team Sunday inches him a little closer toward guaranteeing his 2010 contract.

Which could make Pittsburgh's ongoing efforts to trade him a little more difficult.

There is no question that the Pirates, one of the most active teams in the trade market this summer, are looking to capitalize on their second baseman's hot start by dealing him.

But one mitigating factor that unquestionably will make general manager Neal Huntington's job more difficult as he works to re-shape the Pirates is that, with Sanchez having been selected as an All-Star, his current contract now vests for 2010 with 600 plate appearances.

At that point, Sanchez, more than halfway there with 342 plate appearances into Sunday, is guaranteed an $8 million salary for 2010.

As one major-league executive noted Sunday, that's a lot of money for a player who gets hurt quite a bit. Most recently, Sanchez missed a week with a sore back.

If he doesn't reach 600 plate appearances this summer, the Pirates own an $8 million club option, and the Pirates can buy him out for $600,000 if they choose to not pick it up.

Among the teams that have been linked to trade talks with the Pirates are San Francisco, Minnesota, Seattle and Tampa Bay.

The Giants, leading the NL wild-card hunt at the break, make a lot of sense because they are starved for offense.

You probably can discount the Twins, however. Industry sources say they're focusing on bullpen help. And $8 million is pretty pricey for them, unless the player's name is Justin Morneau or Joe Nathan.



Since: Nov 28, 2006
Posted on: July 14, 2009 12:56 am

The Pirates and Freddy Sanchez trade talk

Guys, Pittsburgh is not a small market.  You simply have horrible, pitiful ownership.  Pittsburgh is a storied team, with several WS wins too.  Its a shame that you guys don't have ownership with the Pirates like the Rooneys.

Since: Aug 31, 2006
Posted on: July 13, 2009 12:14 pm

The Pirates and Freddy Sanchez trade talk

Well said...As a Pirate fan, it is almost getting to the point that this team should not even be playing a major league schedule.  If it were not for the fact that the city of Pittsburgh is still basking in the glow of the Steelers and the Penguins, I am pretty sure there would have been several people who would have threatened the lives of everyone involved in Pirate ownership - it is just apathy at the moment.  It is an absolute joke rooting for this team and to watch them trade away players like Nate McClouth, Morgan and possibly Sanchez is really disheartening.  I have a son who was born in 1993 and all he has seen is losing season after losing season...he is about ready to give up on baseball as he could never root for another team...very sad. 

Since: Oct 4, 2007
Posted on: July 13, 2009 10:26 am

The Pirates and Freddy Sanchez trade talk

It's such a shame how small market teams like the Pirates are pretty much obsolete in MLB.  As a Phillies fan, I am constantly hearing Mets coverage about how bad things are for them right now (which is true) and how unhealthy and unlucky they are due to so many injuries.  Certain things come to mind.  When you trade away all your players to get one or two guys over the coarse of a few years (Santana, Delgado) and don't really bring up much of your own talent, then as soon as some of those guys go down with injury, you're cooked.
I know Wright and Reyes are home grown but all the Mets seem to do now is follow in the Yankees footsteps and just spend spend spend.  I live in NY so I constantly hear Mets fans talk about how lucky the NL East is to have the Mets "so injured" right now.  But, the Pirates don't seem to tank it and do they have that much more on the field compared to this "AAA Mets team?"  
How many franchises churn out all these good to very good players the way the Pirates do?  If they could have held on to Jason Bay, Aramis Ramirez, Kenny Lofton, Jason Schmidt, etc.  Now they move more young talent to Washington and are trying to move Sanchez because he will get an $8 million salary for 2010.  That salary incentive is there so that if he performs, he gets rewarded.  They are essentially saying to their players, stop performing.  
I don't think that it is the organization's fault.  They are simply swimming in the pool that is the MLB and will never be able to compete with big market teams.  I'm not saying the NFL cap is the answer but I just can't understand how MLB expects to keep fans in small markets when they do nothing but help demotivate those franchises from ever taking the next step.

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