clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Freddy Sanchez officially retires

New, 42 comments
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Former Pirates infielder Freddy Sanchez filed his retirement papers today, ESPN's Jerry Crasnick tweets. Today is Sanchez's 38th birthday.

Of course, this is only paperwork -- Sanchez hasn't played in the bigs since 2011, and there wasn't much reason to think he would again. Sanchez suffered shoulder and back injuries in the last years of his career, during what would likely have been his decline years anyway, and he never really made his way back from them.

Sanchez came to the Pirates from the Red Sox in 2003 as part of a deal for Jeff Suppan. It was one of the best moves Dave Littlefield ever made. (In typical Littlefield fashion, he backed into it. He only received Sanchez when the Pirates took issue with the health of reliever Brandon Lyon, who the Red Sox had sent to Pittsburgh when Littlefield traded Scott Sauerbeck and future Bucs closer Mike Gonzalez to Boston. Somehow, Littlefield got Gonzalez back as well as getting Sanchez when the two sides re-worked the deal to include Suppan.)

Sanchez missed most of the 2004 season due to injury, but had a nice season at second and third in 2005. That wasn't enough to win him a starting job in 2006, since the Bucs blocked him with a washed-up Joe Randa, but Sanchez eventually forced his way into a starting job with a season so good the Pirates couldn't ignore it. He won the NL batting title that year with a .344 average and also led the league with 53 doubles.

That season turned out to be the highlight of Sanchez's career, but he was able to continue for several years thereafter as a productive player, mostly due to his very high batting averages. The Pirates eventually sent him to San Francisco for Tim Alderson, and Sanchez won a World Series with the Giants in 2010. He finishes his career with a .297/.335/.413 line with 1,012 career hits.