Obviously the Pirates are having trouble trading Sanchez. Teams view his $8m option for 2010 as above market in the new environment. The Pirates don't want to put a lot of cash in any deal. Without putting cash in, the Pirates may not find a team to provide an adequate "baseball return." They may not find a great return even with cash included. Sanchez is still just a 1+ year rental and his injury history is what it is.
So doesn't it make sense for Pirates to drive a hard bargain in trade talks and plan to keep Sanchez for rest of 2009? The 2010 option is a big problem for an acquiring team that will play Sanchez every day. But it may not a problem for the Pirates. If there is no trade, wouldn't Sanchez give his permission for Pirates to shut him down in September before he reaches 600 AB's? Let Young and Vasquez play 2B in September. Who really cares about the Pirates W/L record for September, 2009?
Both sides win: Sanchez becomes a FA and gets to seek a mult-year deal coming off one of his best seasons. The Pirates are off the hook for the $8 million. It could be cheaper for Pirates to keep Sanchez than to trade him.