The Pirates would get a potential slugger in the 25-year-old Sands, who hit 296 with 26 home runs and 107 RBIs at Triple-A last season. He came to the Red Sox in a trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers and his bat and versatility could make Pittsburgh first baseman-outfielder Garrett Jones expendable. Jones hit a career-high 27 home runs in 2012, when he made $2.25 million, and he will be eligible for arbitration after next season. The Pirates already have a first baseman in place in Gaby Sanchez, who came over in a trade with the Miami Marlins last season.
The proposed trade caps a busy few days for the Pirates, who have agreed in principal to sign former Minnesota Twins and Chicago White Sox left-hander Francisco Liriano. The $14 million, two-year deal is pending a physical.
Liriano would give Pittsburgh four experienced starters heading into 2013, joining A.J. Burnett, Wandy Rodriguez and James McDonald. The 29-year-old Liriano is 53-54 with a 4.40 ERA in seven major league seasons. He went 6-12 with a 5.34 ERA in 2012 while splitting the season between the Twins and White Sox.