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Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Mets cut reliever Sanchez

ESPN.com news services

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Reliever Duaner Sanchez, who never seemed to recover from a 2006 taxicab accident that ended his season and cost him all of 2007, was released by the New York Mets on Tuesday.

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"We looked at his overall performance based upon last year to where he is now and we didn't see the improvement that we felt was needed to be effective in the major leagues," general manager Omar Minaya told reporters Tuesday.

In what turned out to be his final performance as a Met, Sanchez gave up three hits and two runs -- one earned -- in one inning Monday against the Orioles.

"To his credit, he really was trying hard," Minaya told reporters. "But the command is not where we wanted it. It was getting better. There was some uptick, some positive signs there. But at the end of the day, you've got to make a call and the call was made today."

Sanchez will be paid 30 days' termination pay, $276,639, rather than his salary of $1,687,500. Players released after March 18 are owed 45 days' termination pay.

In 2008, Sanchez was 5-1 with a 4.32 ERA in 58 1/3 innings but never seemed to regain the velocity on his fastball after the accident.

Sanchez was 5-1 with a 2.60 ERA in 49 appearances for New York in 2006 and was the primary set-up man for then-closer Billy Wagner before his right shoulder was separated in a taxi accident in Florida.

Sanchez's release could boost right-hander reliever Bobby Parnell's chances of making the team. Left-hander Ron Villone, who agreed to a minor league deal, and right-hander Brian Stokes also are in the mix for one of the team's final bullpen spots.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.