The Pirates last night offered second baseman Freddy Sanchez a multiyear contract, team president Frank Coonelly said.
The sides had preliminary discussions about a multiyear contract, but none in the past several weeks and none serious. It remains to be seen how far this offer, which could be for two years plus an option, advances the dialogue and if it heads off the parties' scheduled arbitration hearing Feb. 11.
Coonelly said the Pirates would welcome keeping Sanchez for the long term.
"We hope he takes it," Coonelly said of the offer.
Paul Cobbe, Sanchez's agent, declined to divulge specifics.
"We continue to actively discuss a contract for Freddy Sanchez," he said last night.
Sanchez's arbitration filing was for a $4.9 million salary for 2008, and the team's was for $4.1 million. He can be a free agent after the 2009 season.