Pirates come to contract agreements with all arbitration-eligible players
National League home run champ Pedro Alvarez got a 500 percent raise Friday, as the Pirates reached contract terms with all of their arbitration-eligible players.
Alvarez, who made $700,000 last season, saw his salary jump to $4.25 million in his first year in the arbitration process. The 26-year-old third baseman hit 34 homers, which tied him for the league lead.
The Pirates began this week with six unsigned players: Alvarez, outfielder Travis Snider, second baseman Neil Walker, first baseman Gaby Sanchez and relievers Mark Melancon and Vin Mazzaro.
Late Thursday night, Snider agreed to a $1.2 million deal. The rest finalized one-year contracts Friday afternoon. Walker got $5.75 million, Melancon agreed to $2.595 million, Sanchez will earn $2.3 million and Mazzaro will play for $950,000.
General manager Neal Huntington said he was not surprised the team was able to avoid arbitration hearings with all six players.
“In all of those situations, we felt there was a reasonable common ground,” Huntington said.
Walker, 28, is in his second year of eligibility after making $3.3 million last year. He hit .251 with a .757 on-base plus slugging percentage during the season but went just 2 for 24 in the playoffs.
Melancon, 28, also was in his first year of eligibility. He made $521,000 last season, when he was fifth in the NL with 26 holds and amassed 16 saves during a fill-in stint as closer.
Mazzaro, 27, was in his first year of eligibility. He went to spring training last year as a non-roster invitee but pitched in 57 games for the Pirates.
Sanchez, 30, made $1.75 million last year, when he batted .254 with a .762 OPS. He is expected to be a part-time starter this season, although the Pirates continue to search the free-agent and trade markets for another first baseman.
After Friday's signings, the Pirates have $71.45 million in payroll. That number will head toward $80 million when the pre-arbitration players on the 40-man roster get their contracts for 2014.
Huntington said finalizing the six contracts this week will not affect the team's financial flexibility when it comes to bringing in another player — such as luring back A.J. Burnett or trading for a first baseman — before the start of the regular season.
“They're pretty much independent entities,” Huntington said. “One really doesn't impact the other. It shouldn't impact our ability to do what we need to do elsewhere.”
Rob Biertempfel is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @BiertempfelTrib.
Show commenting policy
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.
- Pirates to end spring in Philadelphia again, sign Stinson to minor league deal
- Pirates organization to continue pursuing value free agents in offseason
- Pirates bench coach Jeff Banister named Rangers manager
- Pirates are solid at shortstop with the durable Mercer in play
- Pirates will implement price increase for 2015 tickets