| Sports

Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Pirates finalize extension with Tabata

Pirates/MLB Videos

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Pirates podcasts

  • Loading...

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Monday, Aug. 22, 2011

Saying it was the right time, right player and right contract, Pirates general manager Neal Huntington announced a contract extension for Jose Tabata that could keep the outfielder in Pittsburgh through 2019.

Tabata is signed through 2016 for $14.75 million guaranteed (with a $250,000 buyout) and an additional three club option years in 2017 ($6.5 million), '18 ($7.5 million) and '19 ($8.5 million).

"We're looking forward to him having a long and productive career - hopefully all of it - here in Pittsburgh," Huntington said. "Jose is one of the better young talents in the game, and we feel like we've just begun to scratch the surface of his potential."

The Pirates prefer not to negotiate contracts during the season because of the potential of the player being distracted. But Huntington said the talks began some time ago and it made sense to keep moving forward.

The deal buys out Tabata's three arbitration years. In return, the Pirates get the three club option years at the end of the contract. He would have been eligible for free agency after the 2016 season.

"There is shared risk - in our case, guaranteed dollars; in his case, leaving money on the table," Huntington said. "But it gives us the opportunity to fix a cost, and we know what Jose's going to cost the Pirates as we move forward."

Tabata, who turned 23 on Aug. 12, is hitting .271 with 14 doubles, one triple, four homers, 15 stolen bases and 17 RBI in 76 games. In five games since coming off the disabled list with a strained quadriceps, he is batting 7 for 20 (.350) with a home run and seven runs scored.

Tabata, a native of Venezuela, made his major league debut on June 9, 2010.

"The Pirates gave me the opportunity to play in the big leagues," Tabata said. "I don't want to talk about the money, but I can say it's good because it takes care of my family. I like Pittsburgh. I like the city, I like the people, and I want to stay here for a long time."

Both Tabata and Huntington also talked about the increased responsibility that comes with a multiyear contract extension.

"Jose's driven to be great. He wants to be the guy," Huntington said. "He wants to help his team win and do everything in his power to put his team in a position to win. His family is now taken care of, and he can go play baseball and doesn't have to worry about the business side.

"But he also understands the responsibility that comes with this contract. We're looking forward to him getting better and - for his sake and ours - potentially outperforming the contract."

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.




Show commenting policy

Most-Read Pirates

  1. Kang’s 9th-inning home run gives Pirates wild victory over Twins
  2. Pirates notebook: Prospect Tucker unaware of ‘trade’ frenzy
  3. Pirates’ Liriano unaffected by poor last outing against Twins
  4. Gameday: Pirates at Twins, July 29, 2015
  5. Pirates third baseman Ramirez’s last ride is about winning a ring
  6. Gameday: Pirates at Twins, July 28, 2015
  7. Making splash at MLB trade deadline not always in buyers’ best interest
  8. Pirates minor league report: Moore a breakout star in Morgantown
  9. Pirates notebook: Cervelli cherishes All-Star gift from teammate Burnett
  10. Nationals pound Burnett, Pirates
  11. Cole collects MLB-best 14th win as Pirates take series against Nationals