Pirates Notebook: Sanchez, Capps targeted for contract extensions
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HOUSTON -- The Pirates plan to approach two of their top performers, second baseman Freddy Sanchez and closer Matt Capps, with multiyear contract proposals this offseason.
The new front office will wait until team president Frank Coonelly has a general manager in place before extending formal offers, according to two sources, but the team already has decided it feels strongly enough about Sanchez and Capps to pursue longer terms.
Sanchez, 29, is making $2.75 million this season and will enter the second of his three arbitration-eligible years in 2008. With or without an extension, the Pirates own his rights through arbitration through 2009. The reason they would try for an extension now is to avoid arbitration and have cost certainty in those two years. Also, in exchange for Sanchez getting additional guaranteed money, they can seek a discount on the second year.
The term could go longer, too. Sanchez can become a free agent after the 2009 season, so signing him to a contract beyond that would be expensive. But it should not be considered out of the question.
Capps, 24, made $401,000 this season, which was $21,000 more than Major League Baseball's minimum salary. The Pirates could pay him close to that amount next season, too, because he is not eligible for arbitration until after the 2008 season. By getting an extension now, they can offer a significant raise in 2008 in exchange for good prices on some or all of his three arbitration years.
Yankees coming to PNC Park
The New York Yankees will play in Pittsburgh in 2008, marking their first visit since Oct. 13, 1960, the day Bill Mazeroski ended the World Series with one swing. No dates are available yet as Major League Baseball's master schedule issued to teams last week remains tentative.
The National League Central Division will pair up with the American League East, so there is a chance the Boston Red Sox could visit, too. The only other interleague opponent known to be coming to Pittsburgh is the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.
Outfielders Xavier Nady and Jason Bay rejoined the lineup last night. Nady appeared for the first time since Sept. 3 after being cleared of concussion symptoms, Bay for the first time since Sept. 8 after his right knee tendinitis faded. Neither should be expected to be everyday contributors, manager Jim Tracy said.
Center fielder Nyjer Morgan was in the lineup last night despite a gash and slight bruise on his right knee from his mind-bending catch Friday.
First Published September 16, 2007 12:00 am