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Pirates finalize extension with catcher Stewart

| Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2016, 3:57 p.m.
Christopher Horner | Trib Total Media
Pirates catcher Chris Stewart connects on an RBI double in the second inning against the Mets on Friday, May 22, 2015, at PNC Park.
Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher A.J. Schugel tosses the baseball to first base after fielding a grounder hit by Los Angeles Dodgers' Alex Guerrero during the sixth inning of a baseball game Sunday, April 12, 2015, in Phoenix.

The Pirates on Tuesday finalized Chris Stewart's two-year extension, which guarantees the 33-year-old catcher at least $3 million.

According to a source, Stewart will make $1.35 million this year and $1.4 million in 2017. There is a $1.5 million club option or $250,000 buyout for 2018.

A nine-year veteran, Stewart batted .289 last season. He also posted a 2.46 catcher's ERA in 52 games (36 starts) behind the plate.

Also, the Pirates claimed reliever A.J. Schugel off waivers from the Seattle Mariners. To clear a spot on the 40-man roster, right-handed reliever Yoervis Medina was designated for assignment.

Schugel, 25, made his big-league debut last season with the Arizona Diamondbacks. The right-hander worked nine innings over five outings and gave up 13 runs (five earned), walked five and struck out five. Of the 17 hits he allowed, two were home runs.

Schugel was claimed off waivers by Seattle last month.

In 139 games (109 starts) in the minors, Schugel went 32-34 with a 4.04 ERA and 1.38 WHIP and averaged 7.2 strikeouts per nine innings.

Rob Biertempfel is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at or via Twitter @BiertempfelTrib.

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