SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The Pirates did not tender contracts to first baseman Gaby Sanchez and right-hander Chaz Roe by Tuesday night's deadline. Sanchez had been designated for assignment on Monday.
The move with Roe was not anticipated, since he is not yet arbitration-eligible and came to the Bucs in late September on a waiver claim from the Yankees. Obviously, otherwise looking at a full 40-man roster, the Pirates wanted to clear a spot for a subsequent move.
The Rule 5 Draft on Dec. 11 is one possibility, but that is too far down the road for the club to need to make room now. A more sensible possibility is that the signing of free-agent right-hander Radhames Liz, in the news two weeks ago, is close to being formalized and the team will add him to the roster when completed.
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Liz is the onetime highly rated Baltimore prospect who spent 2011-13 pitching in Korea. Reports in mid-November had him agreeing with the Bucs on a two-year, $3 million contract.
Roe, 28, appeared in 21 games in 2013 with Arizona and he made a couple of relief appearance this season for the Yankees. His power arm (164 strikeouts in 143 1/3 innings in the last two Minor League seasons) appealed to the Pirates, who hope to yet negotiate a deal with him.
"We understand there's a risk now he'll go elsewhere," general manager Neal Huntington said. "But we're cautiously optimistic about being able to work out something. We liked him enough to claim him, and he's a guy we're interested in re-signing to a Minor League contract and have him come into camp to compete for a job. But we had a need for a spot, and felt this was the best way to clear it."
Not coincidentally, Roe was a No. 1 Draft pick by Colorado in 2005 -- during Pirates manager Clint Hurdle's tenure at the helm of the Rockies.
Non-tendering Sanchez was merely a formality. The Pirates had designated him for assignment to clear roster room for infielder Sean Rodriguez, who was obtained in trade with Tampa Bay.
Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. Follow him on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.