According to Dejan Kovacevic of the PPG, the Pittsburgh Pirates have approached Jack Wilson and Freddy Sanchez about contract extensions. As would be expected, the fates of both players will be tied, as the only way one will sign is if the other also signs.
According to DK, the Pirates will need to hear something soon, so they can make a decision on whether to trade Sanchez and/or Wilson before the July 31st trade deadline.
I know the Pirates are rebuilding, but it makes more sense to keep these two, rather than trade them. The return for Wilson would be minimal. The return for Sanchez would probably be below his value to us on the field and at the plate.
The defense is the big thing. The best part of the Pirates this season has been the pitching and defense. The pitching has mostly been doing well due to the infield defense. Zach Duke, Paul Maholm, and Charlie Morton are all above average ground ball pitchers, with Ross Ohlendorf also above average at times.
Downgrading Jack and Freddy would hurt more than those two positions. It would also hurt the pitching staff, especially since every pitcher that Neal Huntington acquires seems to be a ground ball pitcher. Think about it. How many times have we been bailed out by a key double play? The Pirates currently rank third in the majors with 230 double plays, and third in the majors in UZR. Both feats are due mostly to Jack and Freddy.
As far as money goes, I’m not going to assume the Pirates would get a home town discount for either player, but I will assume that they will sign for less than their 2010 figures. I’m guessing no more than $4 M a year for Jack, considering he’s a very similar player statistically to Orlando Cabrera, and Cabrera recently got a 1 year/$4 M deal with Oakland in the off-season.
As for Sanchez, I disagree that $8 M is too much for him, and I could realistically see him signing for anywhere between $6-8 M a year. I’m going to guess three year deals for each player, with Jack getting $12 M, and Sanchez getting $18 M.
-News on the Miguel Angel Sano front from Jorge Arangure, via Twitter:
“Bottom line is Sano wants to sign with #Pirates, and agent wants him to sign with whoever offers most $, whether it’s Pirates or not”
“Biggest problem for Sano is that teams that offer most $ (#redsox, #Yankees) don’t like dealing with his agent.”
“For me, the gap in $ between #Pirates and everyone else has to be very wide for him to sign elsewhere”
“All deals with Latin American players are not final until the investigation is concluded. Sano could agree to terms with team”
Looking good for the Pirates on the Sano front, according to Arangure.
-Brian at Raise the Jolly Roger reviews his Opening Day expectations.
-Jon at The “Mc” Effect went to the Altoona game tonight, and has a recap and pictures. I used to live in Altoona, and went to that amusement park all the time. Some nice nostalgic moments reading that post, except they built the ball park about two years after I moved, so I’ve never been there.
-I was going to do a “Things to look forward to in the second half” post, but I’m going to hold off until tomorrow. Tomorrow afternoon I’m taking a test as part of my process to be able to teach in Virginia, so I’ve been preparing the last few days (although it’s a reading and writing comprehension test, so I guess if I’m not prepared by now, I’m screwed). I also went to see Transformers 2 tonight with my wife (and I was extremely disappointed), so I didn’t get time to type it up.
I will probably have it up by tomorrow night at the latest. My test is conveniently in Lynchburg, and Jeff Locke is on the mound tomorrow, so I might catch the game afterwards. That will determine when it gets posted.