Originally written on Raise the Jolly Roger!  |  Last updated 11/19/14
According to Jon Heyman and Rob Biertempfel, the Pirates are close to a minor league deal with pitcher Jonathan Sanchez. The 30-year-old lefty is coming off a miserable year (1-9, 8.07 ERA), although he had a fair amount of success with the Giants from 2006-2011. He’s been inconsistent but has shown flashes of brilliance, including a no-hitter in 2009 and a great season in 2010. To me, Sanchez is basically a poor man’s Francisco Liriano. They have extremely similar profiles, but Liriano probably has the higher upside and the higher floor. The trouble with Sanchez–just like with Liriano–is control. He has a 5.0 BB/9 rate for his career, which is dreadful (Liriano posted 5 BB/9 in his worst years, but his career rate is 3.8). Sanchez also gets tons of strikeouts like Liriano–they have identical 9.1 K/9 career rates, although Sanchez dropped down to 6.3 in his miserable 2012. The fact that this will be a minor league deal makes Sanchez a worthwhile pickup–there’s nothing wrong with grabbing a potentially useful player for a very small cost with almost no risk involved. If the Bucs were set with their rotation and wanted to add Sanchez as depth and/or take a flier on his potential, that’d be wonderful. Because of the Liriano situation (which continues to be a total mystery), however, they aren’t set with the rotation. Is Sanchez going to replace Liriano? Value-wise, it’s a good pickup…but I don’t think anybody really envisions (or wants to envision) Sanchez in the Opening Day rotation coming off such a horrid season. I obviously don’t know if this means anything about the Liriano situation, but it certainly seems to indicate that he’s either not going to be a Pirate or that he’ll be on the shelf for longer than we hoped. It seems safe to at least assume that Liriano will miss the start of the year, and if that’s the case I don’t see why Sanchez couldn’t compete for the final spot in the rotation (going up against Jeff Locke and Kyle McPherson). While Sanchez’s 2012 was horrible, adding his potential to the mix can’t really be a bad thing going in to the battle for that final spot. PHOTO: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Rajon Rondo reportedly traded to Mavericks

Washington Post has perfect description for Titans-Jaguars

Wilbon angry at DC for not supporting Wizards

Urban Meyer on Tim Tebow: 'He wants another shot at playing'

Keenan Lewis: Saints preparing 'funeral' for Falcons

Chris Christie defends being a Cowboys fan

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Celtics co-owner: 2024 Olympics would be 'boon for Beantown'

Harbaugh turned down Michigan money in 2011

Why the Saints pose a legit threat to any playoff team

Matt Kemp reportedly has arthritis in both hips

Eagles fan posts on Craigslist seeking help for team

Michael Vick has almost paid off all his massive debt

The NHL has finally fined a player for diving

Ben Roethlisberger: Le’Veon Bell is having MVP season

Jim Harbaugh comments on the reported offer from Michigan

Michael Jordan's college Converse shoes sell for $33,387

Week 16 NFL game watchability rankings

Game of the week: Indianapolis Colts vs. Dallas Cowboys

The Chicago Bears are the Monstrosity of the Midway

Tom Brady's TD celebrations frighten teammates

The impact of normalized U.S.-Cuba relations on MLB

Dwight Howard kicks Nuggets mascot Rocky

Report: Bears in disbelief over Cutler benching

Is Titans-Jaguars the worst prime-time game this century?

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

In Matt Kemp, did the Dodgers find a pigeon in Padres?

Why the Saints are legit playoff threat

Impact of U.S.-Cuba relations on MLB

Andrew Hawkins and other athletes gain support for social statement attire

NBA's most underrated players

Michael Vick nearly debt-free

Dolphins CB rips Brady's career plans

Biggest winners of the MLB offseason

Brian Billick owns Browns fan

C's in serious trade talks about Rondo

Pelini has profane words for Nebraska AD

When bowl results mean more for one school than another

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.