Late last week, the Pirates extended contract offers to Freddy Sanchez (two years, $10 million) and Jack Wilson (two years, $8 million) with the intention of taking them off the trading block if each accepted. However, both have rejected their individual offers and neither has presented the Pirates with a counter offer.
What does this mean? Pirates general manager Neal Huntington sees the absence of a counter offer as a sign that neither of the two middle infielders sees the Pirates’ value matching up with their expectations. And if dialogue doesn’t reopen between the various sides, the Pirates plan on listening to offers from clubs interested in acquiring either player in advance of the July 31 deadline.
Sanchez has garnered more interest than Wilson, but his $8 million club option — which will become guaranteed with 600 plate appearances this season — could be an obstacle, as other teams haven’t been overly enthusiastic about taking that on. Unless Sanchez is to get hurt, he will easily surpass those 600 needed plate appearances.
Wilson has a club option worth $8.4 million for 2010, but there is no way he can make that guaranteed. As a result, a club could pick him up as a two-month rental if wanted.
What will the Pirates seek in return? They desperately need some Major League ready or near Major League ready middle infielders. The organization also covets young pitching, so look for that to be high on the priority list as well.
— Jenifer Langosch
Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB