Pirates to hang onto Freddy Sanchez?

Over the past couple weeks a foregone conclusion around the baseball world was that the Pirates would wind up dealing second baseman Freddy Sanchez at some point before the July 31 trade deadline. Much like many Buc veterans before him, Sanchez was as good as gone.

But the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is now reporting that the Pirates aren’t engaged in any active talks regarding a Sanchez trade and that no deal is imminent. According to the report, the Bucs aren’t in any hurry to trade Sanchez and might wind up keeping him in a Pirate uniform for the foreseeable future.

That said, what Pirate isn’t available? This organization has prided itself on losing over the past 15-plus years and seemingly wouldn’t hesitate trading one of its veteran players. Sanchez is also their biggest trade piece and if a contender like the Giants or Rockies puts together a deal involving multiple prospects, it would be hard for the shaky Pittsburgh front office to sit idle.

Chances are, the Bucs are playing coy and Sanchez will still be dealt at some point over the next two weeks. If Colorado put together a trade package that included Eric Young Jr., I highly doubt Pittsburgh would take a pass.

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Report: Pirates pushing hard to deal Freddy Sanchez

One of the more intriguing names on the trade market is Pirates second baseman Freddy Sanchez, who is currently batting .316 with six dingers and 33 RBI. And as the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is reporting, the Bucs are pushing hard to deal him before the trade deadline.

Two teams that covet the second baseman are the Giants and Rockies, each of whom are battling it out behind the Dodgers in the NL West and are in the thick of things for the NL Wild Card. Sanchez would be a nice catch for either team, although something for both clubs to consider is his salary. The All-Star makes $6.1 million this year and will make $8 million in 2010 if he picks up another 271 plate appearances before the end of the season.

Colorado might hold an edge over San Fran in the Sanchez sweepstakes because Pittsburgh is reportedly gaga over Rockies’ minor leaguer Eric Young. The 24-year-old has 23 extra base hits, 37 walks and a whopping 47 steals so far in the minors and if the Rox are willing to part with him, they could have Sanchez in uniform sooner rather than later.

That said, the Giants always have an abundance of pitching, but whether or not they’re willing to give any of it up remains to be scene. Madison Bumgarner and Tim Alderson are certainly out of the question, but GM Brian Sabean could still put a decent package together with the likes of Jonathan Sanchez or Kevin Pucetas, coupled with a couple of offensive prospects. (Sabean would probably be willing to throw Fred Lewis into the mix as well, although who knows if the Bucs would even want the struggling 28-year-old outfielder.)

It’ll be interesting to see which team eventually winds up making a move for Sanchez. Either way, it appears that his days in Pittsburgh are numbered.

MLB Trade Rumors: Atkins, Escobar, Haren

– According to ESPN.com’s Buster Olney, the Red Sox might have interest in Rockies third baseman Garrett Atkins after Boston recently placed Mike Lowell on the DL. Colorado is searching for a reliever to help improve their bullpen.

Rumor has it that the Braves’ increasing frustration with the talented, but immature Yunel Escobar could land him on the trade block. Considering he’s only 26 and is batting .293 with seven dingers and 40 RBI, there would certainly be a market for him if Atlanta does eventually make him available.

– Even though some believe that the Mets are still actively searching for offensive help, manger Jerry Manuel told reporters that the club “has enough.”

The Arizona Republic suggests that if the Diamondbacks get a package similar to the one they got when they acquired Dan Haren from Oakland a few years ago, the club could still be willing to move the starting pitcher. A trade seems awfully unlikely though.

– The Mariners have reportedly started discussions with the Padres regarding a trade for third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff according to FOX Sports.com.

MLB Trade Rumors: Lee, Dye, Atkins & Sanchez

– After trading Mark DeRosa to the Cardinals over the weekend, many speculate that the Indians could be setting up for a fire sale soon and would look to deal ace Cliff Lee. But according to MLB.con’s Anthony Castrovince, the Tribe aren’t keen on dealing Lee, who the club has an $8 million option with a $1 million buyout option on in 2010. Cleveland might be inclined to part with Lee if the right deal comes along, but they’re not going to just give the ace of their staff away because they’re out of contention this season.

– Garrett Atkins started at third base for the Rockies on Monday and while manager Jim Tracy said it’s because of his hot bat, ESPN’s Buster Onley believes the club is trying to drum up more trade interest for the 29-year old by getting him on the field. Colorado is in need of some bullpen help and already have Ian Stewart to man the hot corner if they’re successful in trading Atkins.

– The Giants seem to be heating up their pursuit for White Sox outfielder Jermaine Dye, who would have to waive his no-trade clause if Chicago were to work out any deal involving him. San Fran, who leads the NL Wild Card race by a game and a half over the Rockies, are desperate for a middle-of-the-order bat and would love to put a package together to acquire a hitter with some pop.

– Speaking of the Giants, the club would seemingly love to trade former starter Jonathan Sanchez now that they have found a replacement for him in the rotation in 26-year old Ryan Sadowski, who pitched masterfully in his big league debut against the Brewers on Sunday. The problem is that Sanchez’s trade value has never been lower as he’s struggled with his command all season and has been demoted to the bullpen. Still, he was once viewed as a potential No. 3 behind Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain in the Giants’ rotation, so some team may still be intrigued by his potential.

– The Mets are apparently reluctant to part with reliever Bobby Parnell according to the New York Daily News.

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