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Pirates Close to Three-Year Deal with Freddy Sanchez

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The Bucs are close to signing Freddy Sanchez to a three-year deal which would postpone his free-agency eligibility until after 2010. We'll see how much it costs them, and I suppose it's somehow refreshing that the Pirates are now acknowledging that the year 2010 even exists. (Their entire offensive core is set to become eligible for free agency then, and there are few prospects in the farm system to replace the players who may leave; before Dave Littlefield was fired, it looked like the Bucs were headed toward a 110-loss season that year.) But Sanchez, a second baseman who started his career late and doesn't have much power, seems like a bad bet to age well. If everything turns out well for him, he might turn out to have a Mark Grudzielanek or Placido Polanco-like career (to name a couple of his PECOTA comparables) - which would be pretty good, but I don't think his upside is much higher than that. His downside is the last few years of Edgardo Alfonso's career, which scares me.

The same article reports that Paul Bako has signed a minor-league deal with the Reds, which is fine with me.

-P- The Mets signed Johan Santana to a six-year, $137 million deal with an option for a seventh season. Obviously, that's a ton of money, but Santana's been great and durable, and he's still relatively young. He'll still only be 34 when the contract potentially expires.

-P- Finally, the Red Sox have agreed to a one-year, $700,000 deal with Sean Casey, who will back up Kevin Youkilis and allow the Sox to use Youkilis at third when Mike Lowell needs a break.