Less than 24 hours after the Pittsburgh Pirates and outfielder Travis Snider came to a one-year contract agreement to avoid the arbitration process, first baseman Gaby Sanchez has followed suit.
This news comes courtesy of Sanchez’ agency, the Beverly Hills Sports Council, and was confirmed later Friday morning by CBSSports.com MLB reporter Jon Heyman. According to Heyman, Sanchez will be paid $2.3 million this year as part of his freshly-signed deal.
Sanchez, 30, played in 136 games for the Pirates last year as part of a first-base platoon with Garrett Jones and later Justin Morneau. Acquired from Miami in 2012, Sanchez hit .254/.361/.402 in his first full season with Pittsburgh while getting most of his at-bats against left-handed pitchers, whom he has crushed over his six-year MLB career.
The sure-handed Sanchez will be the Pirates’ primary first base incumbent in 2014, as Jones and Morneau have both moved on to other organizations. He could share time there with the left-handed hitting Andrew Lambo, although Sanchez could get the majority of the action in the early going.
By signing the contract, Sanchez beat the Friday deadline for teams and arbitration-eligible players to exchange salary numbers. Neil Walker, Pedro Alvarez, Mark Melancon and Vin Mazzaro are the remaining Pirates still going through the process.
If they can’t come to their own agreements with the Pirates by the end of January, arbitration hearings are scheduled to start Feb. 1.