|Pirates' Sanchez agrees to 2-year deal with option|
|Written by Admin|
|Tuesday, 05 February 2008 08:25|
The contract allows the 2006 NL batting champion to avoid an arbitration hearing. Sanchez sought $4.9 million and the team offered $4.1 million.
The 30-year-old Sanchez, a one-time American Legion teammate of Pirates shortstop Jack Wilson, didn't become an everyday player until a month into the 2006 season but went on to win the batting title with a .344 average. It the highest average by a Pirates regular since Roberto Clemente hit .345 in 1969.
Sanchez also drove in 85 runs despite hitting only six homers.
Sanchez is the first Pirates infielder to hit .300 in consecutive seasons since third baseman Bill Madlock in 1982-83, based on a minimum of 450 plate appearances. Sanchez was a third baseman when he won the batting title in 2006.