For those unfamiliar Sanchez is a first baseman that has spent his entire career with the Marlins. This season has been pretty abysmal for him but he has found success at the major league level. So far this season he is hitting for a .202/.250/.306 line with three home runs and a .244 wOBA. Not very good but the last two seasons have been much better with a .266/.352/.427 line in 2011 and a .273/.341/.448 line in 2010. Before the trade Sanchez was actually in AAA where so far this year he has a .302/.431/.491 line but I am not really sure how much you can depend on that since he plays in the hitter friendly PCL but whatever.
The nice thing about Sanchez is that he is under team control until 2016 so this has gone along with the other moves that Huntington has made which included the move last night to send Brad Lincoln to the Blue Jay for outfielder Travis Snider (which I will touch on a little later tonight).
It is kind of weird that this trade went down only for the fact that the Pirates dealt a draft pick that they received as part of the competitive balance lottery. That pick is the 33rd overall in next year's draft and based on some things I am reading would have been slotted around $1.5M. The Pirates also gave up Hernandez which really doesn't mean a whole ton to me. Hernandez looked lost for much of the time he was with the Pirates at the plate. He is an outstanding defensive outfielder but I am not really sure that is what the Pirates need right now.
I am not really sure what to think about Sanchez as a whole but I don't really think it is a lock to have him up on the Major League team. Here is some pretty good information from Tim Williams over at Pirates Prospects:
I'm just going to throw this out there: if the Pirates keep Sanchez in AAA until rosters expand in Sept., they get an extra year of control— Tim Williams (@timwilliamsP2) July 31, 2012
Interesting note but it's not as if Sanchez is 24 years old. He's 29.
Sanchez has been bad but he has shown that he can be a pretty good bat to have and when he does come up on the team (which he will at some point) he will make the bench stronger. I am not really sure what this means for Casey McGehee but it should be interesting going forward if Sanchez can continue to swing a good bat at the AAA level is that is where he ends up going.
Over his career Sanchez .298/.390/.488 against left handed pitching while only hitting .248/.314/.400 against righties so this looks like it could turn out to be a platoon option going forward.
Here is a little bit of info on Kaminista who is 23 years old and pitching out of AA for the Marlins:
Overall I like the move. It might not pay off initially but it makes the team better and when he does get called up to the big club I think it makes the bench better which in turn makes the team better. There was no big splash move made (yet at least) but that might not be the worst thing in the world with what some teams were asking for in the trade market.