Pirates make offers to 7 players at arbitration deadline

Rob Biertempfel
| Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013, 12:39 a.m.

The Pirates on Monday tendered offers to seven of their arbitration-eligible players.

Before the 11:59 p.m. Monday deadline, the Pirates tendered offers to pitcher Charlie Morton; outfielder Travis Snider; infielders Gaby Sanchez, Neil Walker, Pedro Alvarez; and relievers Mark Melancon and Vin Mazzaro.

Garrett Jones, Kyle McPherson and Michael McKenry were non-tendered — a formality, as all three players already had been designated for assignment.

Players become arbitration eligible after three full years of major league service time. Most players get three years of eligibility; Super 2 players, such as Walker, have four years.

Players who were tendered will either negotiate a contract with the club or go through the arbitration process. The sides will exchange salary numbers in January. Arbitration hearings are held in February, when a panel selects one of the two figures.

Since the salary arbitration process was created in 1974, the Pirates are 10-10 in hearings. In 2012, the club won its hearing against Jones.

The offer to Snider was a bit of a surprise. Injuries and batting struggles have bedeviled Snider since he was traded to the Pirates in July 2012. He missed a month this year because of big toe discomfort and wound up batting .215 with a .614 on-base plus slugging percentage.

This year, the Pirates' two biggest winners in the arbitration process, even if it doesn't go as far as a hearing, will be Alvarez and Melancon. Both likely will boost their salaries by more than 400 percent.

Alvarez, who has 3.085 years of service, is arbitration eligible for the first time. His contract had a $700,000 club option for 2014, but also contains a clause that allowed him to void the option when he accrued enough service time to be arbitration eligible.

Alvarez, 26, was an All-Star, led the team with 100 RBI and shared the National League home run title. He can expect to make at least $4 million in 2014.

Melancon, 28, made $521,000 this year, when he had a 1.39 ERA and notched 16 saves while filling in for injured closer Jason Grilli. Melancon could get around $3 million through arbitration.

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

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