Pittsburgh Pirates Sign Catcher and Claim Young Pitcher Off Waivers

Roddery Muñoz Atlanta Braves
Roddery Muñoz Atlanta Braves / Julio Aguilar/GettyImages
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On Friday, the Pittsburgh Pirates signed a catcher to a one year Major League contract and claimed a young pitching prospect off waivers from the Washington Nationals

With the Winter Meetings only a few days away, the Pittsburgh Pirates have had a dreadfully slow start to the offseason, especially in terms of signing quality free agents. On November 20th, the Pirates signed outfielder Gilberto Celestino to a minor league deal, which became their first signing of the offseason.

Some Pirates fans (myself included) have been frustrated with how slow the offseason has been for the team, and are anxiously waiting to see if General Manager Ben Cherington and owner Bob Nutting will spend money on quality free agents this offseason. As we’ve all been waiting, Jason Mackey reported that the Pirates have made two moves; one signing and one waiver claim. Let’s break down the recently added Pirates players:

The first acquisition of the day was signing 26-year-old catcher, Ali Sanchez, to a one year deal. Some Pirates fans may remember Ali Sanchez’s brief tenure with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2020, and that he was claimed off waivers by the Pittsburgh Pirates on October 18th, 2022. Since then, Sanchez has been primarily a Triple-A catcher for the Detroit Tigers and the Arizona Diamondbacks.

With the Reno Aces, Sanchez dominated offensively, hitting .311/.375/.492, 11 home runs, drove in 43 RBI, and had a 108 wRC+ across 67 games and 267 plate appearances. Sanchez only struck out 15.7% and walked 9.7% of the time at the plate. Sanchez also flashed a phenomenal glove behind the dish, only allowing one error, and threw out 22 runners. Sanchez is out of minor league options and was given a major league deal, so it is likely that he will be attempting to compete for a backup catcher role in Spring Training.