JAN. 13: The Pirates released Sanchez today, according to Stephen J. Nesbitt of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Twitter link).
JAN. 6: The Pirates announced that catcher Tony Sanchez has been designated for assignment in order to clear a spot on the roster for right-hander Neftali Feliz, whose reported one-year, $3.9MM contract with the Bucs is now official.
Sanchez, formerly selected with the fourth overall pick in the June draft (2009), received just nine plate appearances in the Majors this past season and has only 155 Major League plate appearances under his belt. In that time, he’s compiled a .259/.303/.378 batting line with four homers. Sanchez has been about average in his 51 big league contests in the eyes of pitch-framing metrics, but he’s also struggled to control the running game, throwing out just 17 percent of attempted base-stealers (5 of 30). Those throwing struggles have also existed at Triple-A in recent years, though his bat at the top minor league level has been better, as he owns a .248/.342/.415 batting line at the Triple-A level across parts of four seasons.
The 27-year-old Sanchez will now be in limbo for up to 10 days as the Pirates explore trade options. Pittsburgh can elect to place him on outright waivers at any time in that window, at which point clubs throughout the league will have the ability to claim him, in the reverse order of last year’s standings.