Pirates Prospects has learned that the Pittsburgh Pirates released right-handed pitcher Angel Sanchez on Monday. Sanchez, who turns 28 tomorrow, made his big league debut with the Pirates this August and appeared in eight games out of the bullpen. He had an 8.76 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP in 12.1 innings, with ten strikeouts.

Sanchez was originally acquired off waivers on July 31, 2014 from the Chicago White Sox. He made great strides in 2015, then was injured late in the season when it appeared he could be a September call-up. He ended up having Tommy John surgery and missed the entire 2016 season. He returned during Spring Training this year and was showing 95-96 MPH velocity, which was higher than before his injury. Sanchez was inconsistent with Indianapolis and was a somewhat surprising call-up at the time because he was not on the radar at the time.

He has already been dropped from the 40-man roster before, and released prior to re-signing with the Pirates in early 2016, so the Pirates would have lost him to free agency if he was designated for assignment. I wouldn’t rule out him re-signing as a minor league free agent. (Just saw a tweet indicating he is signing to play in Korea, so that explains why he was let go instead of DFA’d).

The 40-man roster is now at 38. Earlier today, the Pirates picked up left-handed pitcher Sam Moll off waivers from the Oakland A’s.

** The Pirates re-signed minor league free agent Alfredo Reyes, who spent the 2017 season with Bradenton. He played multiple positions and displayed an above average arm, strong defense at shortstop and plus speed, but he has never hit at any level during his seven seasons of pro ball. He is a .232/.289/.296 hitter over 506 career games.

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  1. John: Nice story on Sanchez and adds by a few knowledgeable P2 Followers make this a nice feel-good story.

    Is there any information out there regarding the Pirates on the International market. Reading the Top 10’s in BA, they always list the Signing Agent. For instance 3 of the Phillies Top 10 from the DR were signed by Carlos Salas; 4 of the Nats Top 10 from the DR were signed by Modesto Illoa; and 2 of the Braves Top 10 from Venezuela were signed by Rolando Petit. Agents linked with teams – does that leave the Pirates out in the cold? Do the Pirates have a relationship with any of the Scouts in Venezuela? Maitan, Gutierrez, Soto all from Ven.

    • Rodolfo Petit has been the Pirates main scout in Venezuela for awhile, signing Elias Diaz and Jose Osuna, along with almost every other Venezuelan player since then.

      • Rodolfo/Rolando – brothers you think or Father/Son? Rolando seems to be the more active of the two for recent signings topped by BA Minor League Player of the Year 19 year old Ronald Acuna, and 17 year old Kevin Maitan. Somebody with a good eye for talent.

  2. Guessing this was done as a favor to him. I honestly thought he had a chance to be a decent bullpen arm. Cant blame him for taking the money though. Only a few chances in this game at it. Loved the KBO teams write up on him. It was like reading a scouting report here in the states from 15 years ago.

  3. Was that the Pirates being nice to him by releasing him so that he can make a million? Otherwise, there is no real point in “keeping the roster at 38.”

    • Yes, teams don’t hold back marginal MLB players and pay them half (or less) of what they can make elsewhere. Same thing they did with Josh Lindblom earlier this year. It looks good when negotiating with free agents. You don’t want to be known as the team who costs someone their first big payday just because you think they are nice depth. If he was a guarantee to make the 2018 roster, then this wouldn’t have happened, but he wasn’t and it did.

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