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Fire sale or rebuilding? We'll know soon with the Pirates

Pirates second baseman Freddy Sanchez is an All-Star.

Of course, someone from the Pirates has to be an All-Star, baseball's rules demand it.

Go beyond the mandatory selection, and Sanchez still is a darn good player.

A former batting champ, Sanchez has proved this year that the title was legit and last year's season was an aberration.

Sanchez is hitting at a .316 clip entering the All-Star break. He provides offense at a position where anything you get above .250 is a bonus. In addition, with Sanchez, there's not much sacrifice on defense.

So, why would the Pirates want to trade him?

There are about 8 million of them and it's all about the money.

Since Sanchez is an All-Star, he needs just 600 plate appearances to make $8 million next season, which is a Cardinal sin on the penny-pinching Pirates.

I can't blame general manager Neal Huntington for trying to trade Sanchez. You need to sell at the highest point to gain a profit, and Sanchez might not get any higher.

So instead of blasting the Pirates for shopping Sanchez, the prudent thing is to see what they get in return.

One rumor had Jonathan Sanchez of the Giants, the guy who threw a no-hitter last week, as a target. Another had Eric Young Jr. of the Rockies heading to Pittsburgh.

Either player has a high ceiling, so at least the Pirates are seeking a good return.

Whether they get someone of that caliber or if they settle for something less remains to be seen.

Let's see how it plays out before we declare this a fire sale.

The Marlins rebuilt after jettisoning their veterans. The Giants did the same after the end of the Barry Bonds era. Those teams had plenty of moves that were questioned. It's worked for them. It could work for the Bucs.

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