Interesting news just broke by DK tonight; the Pirates recently approached Freddy Sanchez and Jack Wilson jointly about contract extensions. There are a bunch of caveats heaped on to this offer (it has to be accepted within the next week or so with the trade deadline approaching, Freddy is unlikely to accept if Jack doesn’t and vice versa, etc.), but it’s interesting and unexpected for a couple reasons.
To be perfectly honest, my initial reaction to this is that the front office offered these extensions with no plans of either player accepting. Freddy and Jack are about as popular as any Pirates have been in the PNC Park era and any trade involving them is going to be cause a lot of consternation among an already disgruntled fan base. Offering them extensions that they subsequently don’t accept probably softens the PR hit taken if they’re traded before the end of the month.
Assuming that’s not the case, though, and assuming that the front office wants these two in place for two or three more years, the next question that’s raised is why? Sanchez and Wilson would make a perfectly acceptable double-play combination on a contender, I think, but we all know the Pirates are a few years away from that. Both players are 31, both players have been nagged by injuries regularly over the past couple seasons, and I don’t know how long either will remain a productive player for.
I’m sure these extensions would take care of the problems posed by both player’s options for 2010 (which could theoretically make them more tradeable, though I don’t think even Neal Huntington wants to deal with the fallout from signing Freddy Sanchez to an extension on July 20th and trading him on July 31st) and wouldn’t be bank-breaking deals, but I’m just not sure that the reward for keeping these two around beyond this year or next year is all that great.