Gaby Sanchez signs one-year deal in Japan

Former Pirates first baseman Gaby Sanchez has signed a one-year deal with Japan’s Rakuten Golden Eagles for the 2015 season. The deal is worth approximately $2.5 million plus performance-based incentives, according to the Associated Press.

The 31-year-old Sanchez was designated for assignment by the Pirates in December after struggling his way to a .229/.293/.385 slash line and just seven home runs over 123 games. Making the numbers all the more disappointing is the fact that the majority of his at-bats came in advantageous platoon situations.

Sanchez turned in back-to-back 19-homer seasons in 2010-11, but has tallied just seven home runs in each of the three seasons since. Though Sanchez could have potentially found a part-time gig with another Major League club this offseason, it’s unlikely that his contract would have come with any significant guarantees.

Instead, he elected to continue his career in Japan, though at just 31 years old, it’s possible that Sanchez returns to the Majors at some point down the road.

— Paul Casella

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