The word is that the Pirates are pretty much hellbent on getting Freddy Sanchez out of town ASAP. There are a few factors in play here that speak against being so eager to get rid of the guy, such as:
1. He's currently the best player on the team;
2. He's also the most popular guy in the clubhouse now that Super Nate! is gone;
3. He's definitely the most popular guy among the Pirates' 14 remaining fans, who sincerely believe that next year is going to be the year and therefore assume it will be the Time of Freddy Sanchez' Glory.
Well, as for #3 there... those people are delusional, and even if the Pirates give Freddy Sanchez away for nothing, you have to figure those people will continue to hang around. Everyone else bailed out on this team years ago.
There are three reasons why I fully support trading Freddy Sanchez right now for whatever he'll bring:
1. Most of his value is in his batting average, which means he's not really THAT great and he's probably overvalued;
2. I have to say I approve of any course of action that will piss off Adam LaRoche, who really could stand to take a level in Shutting My Mouth and Playing Baseball;
3. Sanchez plays 140+ games every year, which hides the fact that he's injured a lot with nagging problems that render him worse than useless. Right now he's healthy and hitting .315, so trading him now means selling high before his next injury drops his rate stats by 80 points each.
Now, judging by some of the rumors floating around, I think the Pirates should be able to get a pretty nice chunk of value for the guy. Will Carroll reported that Carlos Gonzalez may be in play from the Rockies, for instance. I'd take him and a live arm or two back for Sanchez. That's certainly better than keeping Sanchez, who by the way is 31 years old and has a skillset that suggests he'll probably be finished by the time he's 34.
None of this is to say I don't like Freddy Sanchez or want the bum out of town. Actually, he seems by all reports to be a standup and hardworking guy, and so I will feel happy for him when he finally gets the hell out of Pittsburgh. (Shouldn't that be Adam LaRoche's reaction, too? It says here Adam's just jealous of the guys that get to leave.) So by all means, give Freddy a chance to play for a major league team and bring back some guys who might help the Altoona Curve advance from their current status of Nationals of the Eastern League, perhaps all the way up to Royals of the Eastern League.