-- The opening volley of the Jack Wilson and Freddy Sanchez talks was fired: the Pirates opening offer appears to be converting the 2010 contracts from one year into two year deals, spreading the $8M due each over 2010-11.
That might be an OK deal for Wilson; Sanchez should be able to do considerably better in the marketplace as a free agent. And it sounds as if they're being offered two-year deals, good for the Pirates but not so hot for the 31 year-old players.
The suits want to buy time; the infielders are looking for some security in a Pittsburgh environment that doesn't offer much of it.
We'll see if there's any middle ground to the deals, probably by next week end. The local media consensus is that the odds of Wilson returning are better than Sanchez's; the three-time All-Star has more value as trade bait and then on the open market, and has Delwyn Young waiting in the wings if push comes to shove.
Dejan Kovacevic of the Post Gazette has the story and some possible scenarios in today's piece. In his blog, he makes the case that the Pirates are after Jack Splat more so than Steady Freddy.
John Paul Morosi of Fox Sports has his take on the sudden about-face in this article. He's looking for the best, but suspects the worst.
Craig Calcoterra of NBC's Circling the Bases has a somewhat more upbeat view of the Pirate offer.