Share This Page

Pirates' arbitration deadline nears

| Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012, 6:03 p.m.
ASSOCIATED PRESS
Pittsburgh Pirates closer Joel Hanrahan delivers during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds in Pittsburgh Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012. The Reds won 4-3, with Hanrahan taking the lose. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

The Pirates have until midnight Friday to tender contracts to their eight arbitration-eligible players.

Joel Hanrahan, Garrett Jones, James McDonald, Neil Walker and Gaby Sanchez seem likely to be tendered. Chris Resop, who is poised to finally reach the $1 million salary mark, also should get an offer.

Walker has enough service time to qualify for Super 2 status, which gives him an extra year of arbitration eligibility. He made $500,000 this year, close to the major league minimum, but probably will see his salary hiked toward $3 million in 2013.

The Pirates and Walker discussed a multiyear contract in 2011, but talks broke down and have not been resumed. For now, both sides seem to be content to let Walker's contract status play out year by year.

Last year Hanrahan avoided arbitration by agreeing to a $4.1 million deal. After racking up 76 saves over the past two seasons, Hanrahan probably will make upwards of $7 million next year. That would make him the third-highest-paid player on the team, behind starting pitchers A.J. Burnett ($16.5 million) and Wandy Rodriguez ($13 million).

Pitchers Charlie Morton and Jeff Karstens might be non-tendered. The right-handers were beset by injuries this past season, raising questions about their value for the dollar in 2013. Players who are non-tendered become free agents.

Pain in his shoulder and hip limited Karstens to 90 innings, his fewest since 2008. Yet when Karstens was able to pitch this past season, he was effective, posting a 3.97 ERA and a career-best 1.147 WHIP.

Karstens made $3.1 million this year and could expect a raise of at least $500,000 through arbitration. That might make the Pirates hesitate, but their lack of experienced major league starters could nudge them toward tendering Karstens an offer.

Morton made only nine starts before having season-ending Tommy John surgery. Morton is rehabbing his elbow in Florida and is expected to be back in action by the middle of the 2013 season.

Morton is in his second year of arbitration eligibility and made $2.445 million this season. If he is non-tendered, the Pirates likely will try to re-sign him at a lower rate.

Any player who is tendered a contract must be offered at least 80 percent of his previous season's salary. A player who goes through arbitration is practically guaranteed a raise, even if he is coming off a subpar year.

Rob Biertempfel is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at rbiertempfel@tribweb.com or 412-320-7811.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.