Pirates Release and Re-Sign Angel Sanchez

The Pittsburgh Pirates have released right-handed pitcher Angel Sanchez. He split last season between Altoona and Indianapolis, looking like he regained his prospect status, until he went down with an arm injury in an early August start. He required Tommy John surgery, which wasn’t performed until after the season, so that put him out for the entire 2016 season and likely would have kept him out of Fall Instructional League action as well.

Sanchez was claimed off waivers by the Pirates in July 2014 and finished that season at Altoona, where he made five starts and one relief appearance. The 26-year-old Sanchez began 2015 back with Altoona, where he posted a 2.79 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP in 13 starts, before being promoted to Indianapolis. Before going down with his injury, Sanchez had a 2.55 ERA in ten starts with Indianapolis, improving his strikeout rate and WHIP over his Altoona numbers.

His age likely worked against him in this decision. He will be 27 years old when he returns and in the last year of his minor league contract before free agency. Between 2011-13, he was rated as a top 30 prospect with the Dodgers(2011-12) and the Marlins(2013). That took a hit when he bounced around during the 2014 season, but a strong 2015 season prior to the injury, made it look like he could possibly make a contribution with the Pirates this season.

UPDATE: Wednesday, 2:35 PM: Angel Sanchez has already re-signed so this ended up being similar to the Casey Sadler situation, where the Pirates had to release and rework a deal with a player who won’t appear in a game this season. Sanchez said that he signed a minor league deal. He doesn’t reach minor league free agency until after the 2017 season, so he will continue to rehab in the Pirates’ system this year and then have one more year before he’s a free agent.

  • Missed that re-sign news John, and was happy to see it even if he doesn’t make it all the way back.

    • Tim talked to him today after he saw his locker was full. It was a short time he was unsigned, but milb.com only reported the release, not the fact he re-signed(they may have just not got the news yet)

  • Glad they did this. Watched him several times in Altoona and he looked good.

  • A cautionary story for anyone who thanks that Professional baseball is an easy road to riches.

  • I guess the rules are what they are, but this is kind of unfortunate. If I blow my knee out at my job, I sure wouldn’t expect to be fired before I got back. I mean what would it cost the franchise to do right by this guy. Now, maybe there’s something we don’t know as far as something he did wrong, but at face value it’s wrong.

    • He may well have asked outvknowing he has a better shot with anothercteam in need of SP

    • You’re doing a lot of assuming with no details other than he was released. Without knowing those details, there is no way of knowing what went on.

  • Maybe we discussed this before, but who pays for this therapy
    and recovery? I would guess he does not qualify for unemployment?
    Will he be picked up by another team?

    • HartHighPirate
      March 15, 2016 10:47 pm

      Good question. Seems he should get some financial aid during his recovery.

      • HartHighPirate
        March 16, 2016 2:43 pm

        Viva la Update by John Dreker 🙂 Re-signed by Pirates.

        He will continue to re-hab this year in the Pirates system and have one more year before he is a free agent.

        • Yeah it’s been a strange off-season. Third guy released, who re-signed within days. He took two days, Sadler took a week and Guido Knudson took about a week too.

    • Teams pay for the surgery and therapy, but at this point, I’m not 100% sure what that would entail, since it was six months ago and he’s probably throwing at this point from a short distance. The release date may have something to do with the end of their responsibility towards him. I’m not sure about being compensated for his lost wages, but he could probably make more working a normal job. His lost salary for 2016(if the Pirates kept him) would have been $12,000 total. I’m sure some team will pick him up, but he will probably have to show he is healthy, which might mean playing winter ball.