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McCutchen, Bucs no closer on contract extension

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Pirates and center fielder Andrew McCutchen have made no progress toward a multiyear contract extension since they last talked in April.

The sides had been discussing the extension for several months before word of the negotiations became public in early May. There have been no new approaches from either side in the interim, even though both are believed to remain open to an agreement.

Pirates president Frank Coonelly declined comment Saturday, citing club policy on contract matters.

McCutchen's salary is $452,500, but that means little in this context. Teams can assign any salary they wish to a player in his first three years in the majors above the minimum $414,500. The player then is eligible for salary arbitration the next three years before he can declare free agency. The latter would come in 2016 for McCutchen, based on his current status.

The Pirates and McCutchen had discussed a contract that would buy out a year or two of McCutchen's free-agency time, either through guaranteed money or a club option. That appears to still be on the table for both sides, but money is the separator.

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