View Full Version : Pirates looking at 1-year deal for Sanchez

01-20-2008, 07:47 PM
Pirates looking at 1-year deal for Sanchez
By Rob Biertempfel
Saturday, January 19, 2008

This offseason, the Pirates are not trying to lock up second baseman Freddy Sanchez to a long-term contract. Instead, the team is working to sign Sanchez to a one-year deal and avoid a salary arbitration hearing in February.

"All our discussions have been about one-year plans," Sanchez's agent, Paul Cobbe, said Friday. "There has been no conversations between us about a multi-year deal."

Cobbe said Sanchez is not demanding a long-term contract.

"Freddy takes the perspective that (the Pirates) do not owe him a multi-year contract," Cobbe said. "He's going to go out and play and they'll pay him what he's worth, and he won't worry too much about it."

General manager Neal Huntington did not return a phone call for comment.

Noon yesterday was the deadline for teams to exchange salary figures with agents for their unsigned, arbitration-eligible players. The Pirates began the day with three such players, then quickly came to terms with two of them -- outfielder Xavier Nady and reliever John Grabow -- on one-year contracts.

Nady, 29, will receive $3.35 million this year and another $250,000 if he meets incentive clauses based on plate appearances.

Nady made $2.15 million in 2007, when he hit .278 with 20 homers and 72 RBI despite a chronic hamstring injury. He also missed 10 games with a concussion.

Grabow, 29, will get $1.135 million this year, with the potential for another $75,000 in performance bonuses. In 2007, the left-hander made $832,500 for 63 relief appearances but was limited by recurring elbow pain.

When salary figures were exchanged yesterday, the Pirates and Sanchez's camp were $800,000 apart. The Pirates offered $4.1 million; Sanchez asked for $4.9 million.

It's a sizable gap, but Cobbe does not consider it too far to close.

"I think the Pirates are putting forth an effort and I'm putting forth an effort," Cobbe said. "Freddy, because he's had kind of a unique career, it can be difficult to figure out what your formula is to value him.

"There are some items that we strongly disagree on, but there also are items that we agree on."

At this time last year, the two sides exchanged salary figures that were nearly $1 million apart. Sanchez, who won the National League batting title in 2006, eventually settled for a one-year, $2.76 million deal.

Sanchez missed most of spring training and the first few days of the 2007 season with a knee injury. He rebounded to hit .304, but was shut down after having shoulder surgery in the final week of the season.

Pirates management may have decided it is not worth the risk to offer a multi-year deal to Sanchez, who turned 30 last month. Sanchez will be arbitration-eligible again next year, then may test free agency in 2010.

"Pittsburgh has a plan and Freddy is a part of that plan -- at least for the next two years," Cobbe said.

Arbitration hearings will be held Feb. 1-20 in St. Petersburg, Fla. The two sides may continue to negotiate up to the day of their hearing.

If the Pirates must go to an arbitration hearing with Sanchez, the team will have a powerful weapon it didn't have in previous years: president Frank Coonelly.

Coonelly joined the Pirates last year after a nine-year stint as Major League Baseball's top labor lawyer. When he worked for MLB, Coonelly often attended hearings as a management consultant -- and, by all accounts, he was a hard-nosed, well-prepared negotiator.

This week, the Pirates avoided the arbitration process with Adam LaRoche and Jose Bautista by coming to terms on a one-year contract with each player.

Bautista agreed Thursday to a $1.8 million contract. Three days earlier, LaRoche got a $5 million deal.

The Pirates are exploring a multi-year deal with LaRoche, who has one year of arbitration eligibility remaining.


01-20-2008, 08:54 PM
He needs more than one good season to earn a multi-year deal.

01-20-2008, 08:57 PM
He needs more than one good season to earn a multi-year deal.

No one can have too many good seasons with the Pirates in their current state. Sanchez will be a superstar somewhere else if we don't get him locked up.

01-20-2008, 11:13 PM
I like how the players union preaches the free market when it comes to free agency, but thinks it's OK for some arbitrator to force a team to pay a player under contract more than they think he's worth.

01-21-2008, 09:05 AM
No one can have too many good seasons with the Pirates in their current state. Sanchez will be a superstar somewhere else if we don't get him locked up.

Can you give me the lotto numbers since you can see in to the future? :dang:

01-21-2008, 09:55 AM
No one can have too many good seasons with the Pirates in their current state. Sanchez will be a superstar somewhere else if we don't get him locked up.

You know, I don't think so. He's already 30 and he's a line drive doubles-type hitter. Those guys' value falls off pretty quickly as they get older. I like him, and he's a good ball player, but it took him too long to get to the top. Once every third drive into the gap becomes a rainbow fly out, and instead of hitting .320 he's hitting .270, you can replace him with a younger guy for less money if you don't have him in a long guaranteed contract.

01-25-2008, 09:27 PM
Pirates offer multiyear contract to Sanchez
Friday, January 25, 2008
By Dejan Kovacevic, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The Pirates offered second baseman Freddy Sanchez a multiyear contract, team president Frank Coonelly said tonight, in an attempt to avoid going to arbitration.

The sides had preliminary discussions about a multiyear contract, but none in several weeks and none serious. It remains to be seen how far this offer, which was made early tonight and could be for two years plus an option, advances the dialogue and if it heads off the parties' scheduled arbitration hearing Feb. 11.

Coonelly said the Pirates would welcome the possibility of keeping Sanchez for the long term.

"We hope he takes it," Coonelly said of the multiyear offer.

Paul Cobbe, Sanchez's agent, declined to divulge specifics.

"We continue to actively discuss a contract for Freddy Sanchez," he said tonight.

Sanchez's arbitration filing was for a $4.9 million salary for 2008, and the team's was for $4.1 million.


01-25-2008, 10:41 PM
It's about friggin time.

02-02-2008, 10:29 AM
Pirates, Sanchez close to agreement on three-year deal
Burnett taken off roster but likely to stay in system
Saturday, February 02, 2008
By Dejan Kovacevic, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The Pirates and Freddy Sanchez are close to agreement on a three-year contract and could have a deal early next week.

Such a contract would allow the team and its All-Star second baseman to avoid an arbitration hearing Feb. 11 and, more important, keep Sanchez in Pittsburgh through 2010. Sanchez currently is eligible for free agency after the 2009 season.

The sides had limited talks to a one-year deal until eight days ago, when the Pirates approached Sanchez and his agent, Paul Cobbe, with an offer of two years plus a club option. That was upgraded to guarantee the third year.

There remains a chance the agreement could crumble, but optimism seemed strong enough yesterday that there was talk of having a news conference at PNC Park as soon as Tuesday or Wednesday. Traditionally, the Pirates have had news conferences only for major signings.

The Pirates do not publicly discuss ongoing negotiations, and Cobbe declined comment.

Also yesterday, the Pirates claimed infielder Ray Olmedo off waivers from the Toronto Blue Jays and, to make room on the full 40-man roster, designated starter Sean Burnett for assignment. Burnett, the Pirates' first-round draft pick in 2000, almost surely will remain with the organization.

By designating Burnett, the Pirates have 10 days to waive, trade or release him, but their plan is to keep him if he clears waivers and outright him to the minor-league roster. He already has been assured that if that happens he will receive a non-roster invitation to spring training and remain in the mix for a bullpen spot with the Pirates. Another team could claim Burnett, but that seems unlikely as Burnett has not pitched in the majors since 2004 after elbow and shoulder surgeries.

Olmedo, 26, is a switch-hitter with a .228 career average in 198 major-league games, including .216 in 27 games for Toronto last season. He spent most of the year with Class AAA Syracuse, batting .290. Most of his defensive duty was at shortstop.

Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said Olmedo "adds experience and gives us additional depth up the middle."

On another front, free-agent catcher Paul Bako, who had been pursued by the Pirates, yesterday signed a minor-league contract with the Cincinnati Reds. The Pirates can be expected to keep seeking catching depth, even deep into spring training as more players become available.

02-02-2008, 10:30 AM
It's about friggin time he got one of these long term deals. Keep making better deals Neal and Bob and we may got off of your backs about not caring about winning in this town(Well, if it produces ON FIELD)

02-05-2008, 10:47 AM
The only smart move that 'organization' has made up to this point. Signing the only bat on this roster who shows some sort of consistency. Good job on that no-brainer move.

Pirates call press conference on Sanchez signing
Tuesday, February 05, 2008
By Dejan Kovacevic, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Pirates second baseman Freddy Sanchez, all apparently clear with his physical this morning, will sign his three-year contract extension today.

The team has called a PNC Park news conference for 2 p.m. to make the announcement, though the time is subject to change.

The parties agreed yesterday to a deal that offers two guaranteed years plus an unusual option for 2010. The team has the right to exercise it, but Sanchez also can trigger it by performing at a certain level in the first two seasons.


02-05-2008, 02:37 PM
Contract for Pirates' Sanchez worth up to $18.9 million
Tuesday, February 05, 2008
By Dejan Kovacevic, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The contract extension signed today by the Pirates and second baseman Freddy Sanchez is worth a maximum of $18.9 million if the third year is triggered either through a club option or if Sanchez achieves a specified performance level through the first two years.

Sanchez will make $4 million in base pay this season, plus a $300,000 signing bonus. He will make $6.1 million in base pay the next season. For 2010, the Pirates can exercise the club option of $8 million -- plus as much as $500,000 in performance bonuses -- or pay a $600,000 buyout. That option can vest automatically, too, if Sanchez makes 635 plate appearances in 2009, or 600 plate appearances and a berth on the All Star team in 2009, giving the player some control in the process.

The Pirates and Sanchez had been scheduled to have a salary arbitration hearing Monday, but that was canceled by the signing. Sanchez, who made $2.75 million last season, had submitted a figure of $4.1 million, the team $4.9 million.