The Pirates have a barren minor league system, mostly devoid of impact talent. The Major League team has won less than 70 games in three consecutive seasons. The majority of the teamís offense is made up of average players in their prime who will be eligible for free agency in two or three years. General Manager Neal Huntington is new to the organization, with fresh plans to rebuild the farm system. It is obvious that several starters could be on their way out in the next year or so. I would like to examine the pros and cons of dealing each of these players. Here are my thoughts on trading Xavier Nady, Jason Bay and Jack Wilson. Today we will look at Freddy Sanchez.
This post will be much briefer than the others in this series. Freddy Sanchez is definitely a player that the Pirates should consider as potential trade bait, and thus I will not omit him. But Pat from WHYGAVS already did an excellent job of breaking down the pros and cons of a potential trade, and there is no reason for me to repeat everything that has already been written.
Freddy is a very good baseball player. He is an outstanding contact hitter that is very capable of hitting for a high average. We witnessed that in 2006 when he won the batting title. But he rarely walks and he possesses below average power. Those are not encouraging qualities for a player who is turning 30 on Friday. When the bat speed begins to decline, there will not be much for Freddy to fall back on. We can expect slightly above average offensive performance and below average defense at second base in the future.
But as Pat points out, Freddy is perceived by many as a star player. He is ďa two-time All-Star, a batting champion, a career .300 hitter, and he has the ability to play a couple positions.Ē He also stands out because he plays for a Pirates team that is severely challenged offensively. A smart general manager could receive more in a trade than Sanchez is worth. These are opportunities that the Pirates must use to their advantage. The Pirates do not really have anyone to replace him, but that should not be an issue right now. If the team can get any decent prospects for Freddy, it is not important who plays second base in 2008.
I am going to stop there, as I am already beginning to repeat Patís thoughts. I would encourage you to check out his post, as well as his 2007 season review of Freddy. He is very convincing in his argument to trade the Piratesí second baseman.
Final Verdict: Trade by July 31, 2008