Pirates agree to contract terms with Stewart, Locke
BRADENTON, Fla. — The Pirates on Thursday reached contract terms with catcher Chris Stewart and pitcher Jeff Locke, avoiding salary arbitration with both players, according to industry sources.
Stewart agreed to a two-year contract with an option for 2018. The deal is pending a physical.
Locke got a one-year, $3.025 million contract. The left-hander made $531,000 last year, when he went 8-11 with a 4.49 ERA. The 28-year-old has two years of arbitration eligibility remaining.
Stewart will turn 34 on Feb. 19, the day pitchers and catchers will have their first spring training workout at Pirate City. Last season, he appeared in 58 games and batted .289 with a .659 OPS.
By locking up Stewart to a multiyear deal, which buys out at least the first year of his eligibility for free agency, the Pirates may be bracing for the departure of Francisco Cervelli, who will be a free agent after this season. Last month at PirateFest, Cervelli said the Pirates have not approached him about a contract extension.
“Let's see what happens,” Cervelli said. “That kind of talk will be between the team and my agent. I would love to retire from this team because I don't think it's good to be jumping around too much.”
The starting catcher at Triple-A Indianapolis this year will be Elias Diaz, who appeared in two games as a pinch-hitter with the Pirates last season.
On Wednesday, the Pirates released former first-round pick Tony Sanchez.
Rob Biertempfel is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at email@example.com or via Twitter @BiertempfelTrib.
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 â 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.