Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette asked Pirates president Frank Coonelly whether recent days off for second baseman Freddy Sanchez were related to the player's 2010 vesting option, which is based on plate appearances. Coonelly was offended by the suggestion, saying contractual clauses do not have a bearing on the manager's lineup decisions. Kovacevic explains Sanchez's option:
If he makes 635 or more plate appearances this season, or if he makes 600 plate appearances and is chosen for the All-Star Game, his $8.5 million option is automatic. If he does not break those thresholds, the Pirates still can pick up the option if they choose.
Despite Coonelly's annoyance, it's not out of line to wonder if a last place, cost-conscious team would have an eye on an $8.5MM vesting option. Sanchez is off to a fine .317/.361/.528 start in 133 plate appearances. Assuming he doesn't make the All-Star team, he needs 502 more PAs in the team's 130 remaining games. Since Sanchez is averaging more than 4.15 per game as the team's #2 hitter, he's on track to trigger the option.