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Pirates notebook: Precedent exists for long-term Alvarez deal

Rob Biertempfel
| Saturday, June 1, 2013, 6:51 p.m.

Big league executives know they'll have their hands full when trying to negotiate a multiyear contract for one of agent Scott Boras' clients.

But there is recent precendent that shows the Pirates could successfully negotiate a long-term deal with Pedro Alvarez that voids free-agent years.

Two notable Boras clients — Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez and Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus — gave up some free-agent years in mega-deals during the past few years.

In 2011, Gonzalez got a seven-year, $80 million extension that bought out his first three free-agent years. This spring, Andrus agreed to an eight-year, $120 million extension that covers at least four free-agent seasons.

Boras has a reputation for spurning long deals when there's money to be made on the free-agent market. But he said Friday he would be “open” to talking with the Pirates about an extension for Alvarez. Team president Frank Coonelly indicated any deal would have to buy out at least one or two of Alvarez's free-agent years. Alvarez likely will not be eligible for free agency until after the 2016 season.

“You have to evaluate each individual circumstance,” Boras said. “Sometimes it makes sense for both sides.”

Slower is better

After Alvarez swiped his first base of the season May 16 against the Brewers, Boras sent him a text message: “I like it a lot better when your time from first to second base is four or five seconds.”

Alvarez asked why that's the case, and Boras responded: “Because that means you've hit one out. Your home run trot is slower (than a stolen base sprint).”

In his career, Alvarez is 3 for 3 in stolen base attempts.

Treanor reaches milestone

When Triple-A Indianapolis beat Pawtucket, 7-2, on Tuesday, it made Dean Treanor the team's 14th manager to reach 200 victories. Treanor's .587 winning percentage (202-142 through Friday) is second best in Indians history behind Al Lopez, who won at a .603 clip (277-182) from 1948-50.

“Dean does a fantastic job in a very difficult situation,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. “He gets those different personalities and players who are in different points in their careers to mesh and buy in to the team mentality.”

Treanor, 65, is in his third season with Indy and his 11th as a minor league manager. He also has worked in the Pirates' system as pitching coach at Indy (2010) and Double-A Altoona (2009).

Last winter, management mulled promoting Treanor to Hurdle's staff. Treanor has made it clear he wants to work in the big leagues.

“I've talked to Dean about it on different occasions,” Hurdle said. “There are many, many men in the minor leagues who are deserving of a big league opportunity but just haven't gotten it. We will continue to look for an opportunity to get him here or at least let some other (club) know he's qualified.”

Polanco's newest fan

Pirates outfield prospect Gregory Polanco was blown away Saturday when he noticed Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista is among his Twitter followers. Polanco tweeted: “Wow me esta siguiendo @JoeyBats19? Jaja,” which means, “Wow, Jose Bautista is following me? Ha ha.”

Rob Biertempfel is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at rbiertempfel@tribweb.com or via Twitter @BiertempfelTrib.

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