Freddy Sanchez was selected to the NL All-Star team as the lone representative for the Pittsburgh Pirates this year. The announcement is significant for the 2009 option that Sanchez has.
Sanchez has an $8 M option next year with a $0.6 M buyout. However, the option has a trigger clause, which guarantees the 2010 salary based on plate appearances. Sanchez needed 635 plate appearances, or 600 plate appearances and an All-Star selection.
With this selection, the third All-Star selection by Sanchez in his career, Freddy will almost certainly see his option guarantee next year.
Freddy has played in 74 of the 82 Pirates games this year, with 329 plate appearances. That’s 4.45 plate appearances per game, and 90% of games played.
If Freddy continues to play 90% of games for the remainder of the season, and gets an average of 4.45 PA per game, he will get 321 plate appearances for the remainder of the season, giving him 650 on the season.
With his recent injury making him day to day, Freddy could have been in danger of barely missing the 635 plateau. The All-Star selection makes this incredibly easy for Freddy, who has received over 600 plate appearances each year from 2006-2008.
A lot of trade rumors have gone around about Sanchez recently. The Giants are looking at Freddy and Adam LaRoche, according to Dejan Kovacevic of the PPG.
I’ll also point out that talk has been going around that a Mariners’ official says the Pirates probably won’t trade Sanchez. That is a mis-quote of this article. The correct quote is:
But one Mariners official said the team isn’t seriously considering him as a trade option to improve their infield, although on the surface he appears to be a good fit.
Somehow that was reversed from “The Mariners aren’t considering trading for Sanchez” to “The Pirates aren’t considering trading Sanchez”. And by somehow, I mean a MLBTR post.
A lot of speculation says that this could hurt the trade value of Sanchez, as teams trading for him will likely be adding $8 M in payroll next season. Personally I don’t think that’s a bad deal for a player like Freddy (his value so far this season is $11 M, according to FanGraphs). I wouldn’t be disappointed if we keep Freddy, as we don’t have any options ready in the minors, and I don’t want to see Ramon Vazquez as an everyday starter.
As far as a trade goes, I don’t think the approach for the Pirates will change. My opinion is that they will only trade Freddy if the return is good. I don’t think it was a guarantee he was going to be traded before, and I don’t think this recent news changes that.