Earlier today I wrote about the throwing problems from Tony Sanchez, and how those issues could keep Sanchez from being a starter in the majors. The Pirates will have a choice this off-season between trying to bring back Russell Martin, or giving the everyday job to Sanchez. Originally it seemed like a lock that Sanchez would take the job next year. But the more he struggles with his throwing, the more he could see that future starting role slip away.
As for Martin, the team has some money to spend after this season, and much more than the $17 M they were aiming to spend last off-season. They will be losing Martin, Wandy Rodriguez, Edinson Volquez, Jason Grilli, and Clint Barmes. By the end of the year, that will be almost $35 M off the books. There will be some salary increases to off-set that, but even after those salary increases, the Pirates will have about $20 M to spend to just get to the level they're at this year. So they could afford to bring him back.
Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.