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Gaby Sanchez signs with Rakuten in Japan

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Gaby Sanchez has signed with the Rakuten Golden Eagles in Japan, where he'll make around $2.5 million plus incentives. The Pirates designated and then non-tendered Sanchez earlier in the offseason.

Thus officially ends Sanchez's Pirates career, and he also might have taken his last at bats in the majors. He produced a total of 1.3 fWAR in parts of three years in Pittsburgh -- an acceptable total, I guess, for a part-time player, especially since he insulated the Pirates' other mediocre first basemen from left-handed pitching. He's 31 and has had two weak offensive years in his last three, however, so it's not surprising that the best deal he could find was in Japan.

I was curious, so I looked up what happened to the Competitive Balance pick the Pirates traded for Sanchez in 2012. The Marlins used that pick on Matt Krook, who didn't sign, so in 2014 they got a similar pick and took Blake Anderson, a high school catcher from Mississippi. He headed to the Gulf Coast League after the draft and didn't hit, although that doesn't mean much at his age. It will be interesting to see how he turns out.