Dejan Kovacevic reports in today’s Post-Gazette that the Bucs are negotiating contract extensions with Steady Freddy and Jack Splat. What this means is:
-- JR broke into tears when he considered a middle infield of Delwyn Young and Ramon Vasquez, as did the entire Pirate pitch-to-contact staff. The Pittsburgh organization has no prospects in place to replace either guy.
The closest are Indy’s 2B Shelby Ford (.167), who hasn’t overcome an early season wrist injury, and SS Brian Friday (.249) at Altoona, unless a DP combo of Brian Bixler/Luis Cruz lights your fire.
-- No one offered anything more than a doggie bag for either guy. Both were hampered by big contracts, and no one wants to deal with those in this economy. The Bucco wheeler-dealers had to finally accept marketplace reality.
We haven’t heard a concrete offer for Wilson since the 2008 season opened, and the best vibe we picked up through the media grapevine for Sanchez was a straight-up Jonathan Sanchez deal with the Giants. That’s not nearly enough return for a three-time All-Star.
The contracts aren’t a done deal, by any stretch of the imagination. Both players expressed interest in staying, particularly as a team. But there’s a deadline in place, probably a week or so before the trading cut-off off of July 31st.
The money will be one question. The length of the contracts will be another – DK says that the players are looking for three years guaranteed; the suits would prefer two years with an option.
And would they hold out for a no-trade clause to prevent the kind of drama they’re going through now from happening in the future - and more importantly, the Nate McLouth shuffle? (EDIT - DK reports that Wilson will be a 5 and 10 year player next season, so he has veto rights on a deal).
Stay tuned. And hey, everyone else is still in play, although the market is softening now that teams like the O’s, Royals, and Reds are now sellers. The closer the deadline gets, the shorter the odds of the team entirely blowing up - until the off-season.