Pirates target pitcher Sanchez

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The Pirates continue to search for depth in their starting rotation. Their latest target is left-hander Jonathan Sanchez, whom they have interest in signing to a minor league contract, according to a baseball source.

Sanchez, 30, would provide insurance if the proposed deal with Francisco Liriano is not completed. Liriano agreed to terms with the Pirates before breaking the humerus in his right, non-throwing arm during the winter, delaying the deal.

CBS Sports first reported the Pirates' interest in Sanchez.

Sanchez, like Liriano, has the ability to strike batters out but also issues too many walks. He struggled in 2012, when he walked 53 batters and struck out 45 in 642/3 innings with an 8.07 ERA. Two bouts of left biceps tendinitis limited Sanchez to 15 starts in 2012 and he missed the final two months of the season.

In seven major league seasons, Sanchez has a career 4.58 ERA and a strikeout rate of 9.1 per nine innings. He has also walked five batters per nine innings and has a 1.45 WHIP.

In 2010, Sanchez had a 3.07 ERA for the San Francisco Giants, but walked a league-high 96 batters. His 1931/3 innings that season were a career high.

Sanchez earned $5.6 million last season.

More baseball

Chris Carpenter, one of the best clutch pitchers in the history of the St. Louis Cardinals, might have thrown his final pitch. General manager John Mozeliak and manager Mike Matheny announced Tuesday that Carpenter, 37, almost certainly won't pitch in 2013 and that his career is probably over after a recurrence of a nerve injury that cost him most of last season. ... Major League Baseball officials asked the Miami News Times for records the alternative newspaper obtained for a story on alleged use of banned substances by several players. ... Brandon Webb, who won the NL Cy Young Award in 2006 and was one of the top pitchers in baseball before being beset by arm injuries, is retiring. Webb, 33, hasn't pitched in the majors since 2009. ... Washington agreed to minor league deal with former Pirates catcher Chris Snyder. ... Outfielder Gerardo Parra, 25, and Arizona agreed to a $2.35 million, one-year contract, settling the team's last salary arbitration case. ... Right-hander Jon Rauch, who was 3-7 last season with the New York Mets, agreed to a $1 million, a one-year contract with Miami, his eighth team. ... Reliever Kyle Farnsworth ($1.25 million) and second baseman-outfielder Kelly Johnson ($2.45 million) finalized one-year contracts with the Tampa Bay Rays.

Winter sports

Lindsey Vonn is expected to return for next year's ski season and the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, after tearing her anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in her right knee and fracturing her leg in a crash at the world championships in Schladming, Austria. Webb fell during her run in the super-G race. Slovenia's Tina Maze won the event. ... Katherine Reutter, 24, who won two Olympic medals in short-track speed skating at the 2010 Vancouver Games, is retiring.

Olympics

Prime-time television coverage of the Winter Olympics will start a day early next year in Sochi with NBC airing events the night before the opening ceremony. On Feb. 6, 2014, viewers will see team figure skating, women's freestyle moguls and slopestyle snowboarding.

Pro basketball

Former Pitt standout Shavonte Zellous signed a multiyear contract to stay with WNBA champion Indianapolis. Terms were not released. Zellous became a starter in the playoffs and averaged 10.6 points in the postseason.

Media

Dick Vitale will call Final Four games for the first time, when a voice synonymous with college basketball will be heard outside the United States on ESPN International. Vitale joined ESPN in 1979 but has never announced a Final Four game because NBC and then CBS have owned the rights.

Tennis

Rafael Nadal won his first match after being away for more than seven months because of a knee injury, partnering with Juan Monaco for a 6-3, 6-2 win in the VTR clay-court tournament in Vina Del Mar, Chile.

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