Sanchez Designated For Assignment

Definition

When a player's contract is designated for assignment -- often abbreviated "DFA" -- that player is immediately removed from his club's 40-man roster. Within seven days of the transaction (had been 10 days under the 2012-16 Collective Bargaining Agreement), the player can either be traded or placed on irrevocable outright waivers.

If the player is claimed off said waivers by another club, he is immediately added to that team's 40-man roster, at which point he can be optioned to the Minor Leagues (if he has Minor League options remaining) or assigned to his new team's 25-man roster. If the player clears waivers, he may be sent outright to the Minor Leagues or released. Players with more than three years of Major League service time or who have been previously outrighted may reject the outright assignment in favor of free agency.

Clubs may utilize this option to clear a spot on the 40-man roster -- typically with the intention of adding a newly acquired player (via trade or free agency), a Minor Leaguer or a player being activated from the 60-day disabled list.

Example

In April 2014, the Toronto Blue Jays designated right-handed reliever Jeremy Jeffress for assignment. Jeffress went unclaimed on waivers and, having previously been outrighted once before, was able to reject the assignment in favor of free agency. Jeffress did just that and went on to sign a Minor League contract with the Brewers shortly thereafter.

JAN. 13: The Pirates released Sanchez today, according to Stephen J. Nesbitt of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Twitter link).

JAN. 6: The Pirates announced that catcher Tony Sanchez has been designated for assignment in order to clear a spot on the roster for right-hander Neftali Feliz, whose reported one-year, $3.9MM contract with the Bucs is now official.

Sanchez, formerly selected with the fourth overall pick in the June draft (2009), received just nine plate appearances in the Majors this past season and has only 155 Major League plate appearances under his belt. In that time, he’s compiled a .259/.303/.378 batting line with four homers. Sanchez has been about average in his 51 big league contests in the eyes of pitch-framing metrics, but he’s also struggled to control the running game, throwing out just 17 percent of attempted base-stealers (5 of 30). Those throwing struggles have also existed at Triple-A in recent years, though his bat at the top minor league level has been better, as he owns a .248/.342/.415 batting line at the Triple-A level across parts of four seasons.

The 27-year-old Sanchez will now be in limbo for up to 10 days as the Pirates explore trade options. Pittsburgh can elect to place him on outright waivers at any time in that window, at which point clubs throughout the league will have the ability to claim him, in the reverse order of last year’s standings.

Pittsburgh PiratesTony SanchezTransactions

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