Friday evening, news broke that the Pittsburgh Pirates placed a catcher and pitcher on waivers that they were claimed creating room on the 40-man roster
The Major League Baseball offseason can be a strange thing. It is not uncommon to see a team add multiple players off waivers during the offseason, only to designate that player for assignment or place them on waivers ending their career with an organization before the player ever plays for that team. For the Pittsburgh Pirates, this took place on Friday.
Friday evening news broke that catcher Ali Sánchez had been claimed off waivers. It was not known taht Sánchez was even on waiver before news broke that he had been claimed by the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Teams can place players on waivers without it being reported. It is only reported when a player is designated for assignment. There are some exceptions to this though, think of the Gregory Polanco debacle in 2021.
Sánchez had been claimed off waivers by the Pirates in October after he was designated for assignment by the St. Louis Cardinals. Known has a strong defensive catcher, Sánchez has hit for a .231/.286/.385 slash line with an 84 wRC+ in 14 MLB plate appearances with the New York Mets and the Cardinals.
Adding a catcher was already going to be atop Ben Cherington’s to do list at this weekend/week’s Winter Meetings and for the rest of the offseason. With Endy Rodriguez as the only catcher now on the 40-man roster, it would not be a surprise to see the Pirates look to add multiple catchers this offseason so they do not feel rushed to have Rodriguez started the season in the majors.
Speaking of players who were adding via waivers by the Pittsburgh Pirates and then removed from the 40-man roster without ever playing for the team, first baseman Lewin Diaz was claimed off waivers by the Baltimore Orioles on Friday. Diaz was claimed off waivers from the Miami Marlins last month, but was designated for assignment when Carlos Santana was signed.
Friday evening, the Pittsburgh Pirates also lost pitcher Miguel Yajure to the San Francisco Giants via waiver claim.
Yajure was acquired from the New York Yankees as part of the Jameson Taillon trade. In his Pirate career Yajure struggled mightily, posting an 8.69 ERA, 6.72 FIP, 12.3% walk rate, 14.2% strikeout rate, and allow home runs at a 2.06 HR/9 clip in 39.1 innings pitched.
To be eligible to select a player in next week’s Rule 5 Draft a team’s 40-man roster had to have open space on it by the end of the day today. This was likely the driving force behind the Pirates placing these two on waivers.