I mentioned reports of this signing earlier in the week, but it’s now official, as the Pirates and southpaw starter Jonathan Sanchez have agreed to a minor league deal. It looks like the Pirates are taking a chance on some starters to turn it around at PNC Park, as Sanchez posted a 1-9 record, 8.09 ERA, and 2.09 WHIP in 64.2 innings pitched last season. Stuff has never been an issue with Sanchez, but it’s been his control, and it came to a head in 2012, as he walked more batters (53) than he struck out (45). Here’s the rest of yesterday’s Hot Stove news and rumors:
The Pirates are taking the same route with Francisco Liriano, as they hope he bounces back from his 5.34 ERA and 1.47 WHIP in 2012. Jon Heyman reports that their deal is pending a physical, which is being delayed as they’re waiting for his right arm to heal.
Derek Lowe is still holding out for a Major League contract, as he passed on a minor league offer from the Rockies. I don’t know why he passed up on it; even though it’s a non-guaranteed contract, Colorado is desperate for better pitching this season, and his sinker would work nicely at Coors.
The chess match that is Michael Bourn continues for the Mets and Scott Boras. The outfielder’s agent has told the team he has other attractive offers in the open market, while Sandy Alderson is pushing back, daring him to sign elsewhere. New York has discussed a three-year deal for Bourn, and have shown some willingness to guarantee a fourth year. Obviously, this is pending the MLB protecting their first-round pick. If the pick is protected, the Mets should go for it, as it gives them some credibility for the outfield, and a lead-off hitter with the potential to steal 40 bases.
Mike Leake was set to head to arbitration, but news dropped that he and the Reds have agreed to a one-year deal, and it looks like he made out pretty well. Cincinnati submitted a figure of $2.65 million, while Leake originally asked for $3.5 million. The two settled on a $3.6 million salary for this season.
The Nationals signed Micah Owings to a minor league deal, but not to pitch. Washington’s PR twitter account listed Owings as a first baseman. This is probably for the best, as Micah put together a 32-33 record and 4.86 ERA in six seasons of pitching, while sporting a .283 batting average and .502 slugging percentage in his career.
On the heels of having to once again deal with Ryan Braun and his alleged association with performance-enhancing drugs, the Brewers announced their one-year/$1.5 million deal with shortstop Alex Gonzalez. He can earn and additional $1 million through incentives, as he looks to come back after tearing his ACL after only appearing in 24 games last season.
Luke Scott‘s one-year deal to re-join the Tampa Bay Rays is worth $2.75 million.
Sergio Romo stepped in admirably for the injured Brian Wilson last season, and was a crucial part of the bullpen as the Giants won their second World Series title in three years. Now, he and the Giants have agreed to a two-year deal to avoid arbitration, for $9 million. I like this move by San Francisco, as it allows them to hold onto a guy who could become a shutdown closer, but at a bargain basement price.
That’s the roundup for this morning, have a good Thursday, everyone!
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