ShareThis Page
Pirates

Pirates notebook: Gerrit Cole, Felipe Rivero likely to get big pay hikes at nontender deadline

| Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017, 5:54 p.m.
Pirates pitcher Gerrit Cole
Getty Images
Pirates pitcher Gerrit Cole
Pirates pitcher Gerrit Cole throws during the seventh inning against the Cubs Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017, at PNC Park.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Pirates pitcher Gerrit Cole throws during the seventh inning against the Cubs Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017, at PNC Park.

The Pirates do not have any hard decisions heading into Friday's nontender deadline.

By 8 p.m., teams must decide if they will offer contracts to players on the 40-man roster who aren't already signed. That includes those who are eligible for salary arbitration, and for the Pirates, that's Jordy Mercer, Gerrit Cole, Felipe Rivero and George Kontos.

All four are expected to get offers.

In his second year of arbitration eligibility, Cole likely will be the priciest of the bunch. Cole went 12-12 with a 4.26 ERA last season, and analyst Matt Swartz of MLBTradeRumors.com projects the right-hander will double his salary to $7.5 million next year.

With the winter meetings 10 days away, Cole already has been mentioned as a trade target. A week ago, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported the Minnesota Twins have talked to the Pirates about Cole.

There is little chance the Pirates could work out a long-term deal with Cole, who will be a free agent after the 2019 season.

For Rivero, perfect timing will lead him to a huge salary hike. He made near the minimum salary this past season but goes into his first year of arbitration after racking up 21 saves and blossoming into a lockdown closer.

A Super Two player, Rivero has three years of arbitration eligibility ahead of him.

Although the Pirates have three promising middle infielder prospects — Kevin Kramer, Kevin Newman, Cole Tucker — none is ready to start 2018 in the majors. Mercer will be back for what likely will be his final season with the Pirates.

Kontos put up a 1.84 ERA, a 0.81 WHIP and averaged 9.2 strikeouts per nine innings after the Pirates claimed him off waivers in August. He is a candidate for a setup job next season.

Roster moves

If you blinked, you might have missed Sam Moll's stint with the Pirates this week. About 72 hours after claiming Moll off waivers, the Pirates lost the lefty reliever Thursday to the Seattle Mariners.

The Pirates tried to sneak Moll through waivers in order to send him to the minors while opening a spot on their 40-man roster. With Moll gone, there are three open spots on the roster.

The Pirates signed outfielder Bralin Jackson and assigned him to High-A Bradenton. Jackson, who will turn 24 on Saturday, was the Tampa Bay Rays' fifth-round pick in 2012. Last season, he played 95 games with the independent Washington Wild Things and batted .294 with 16 homers and an .802 OPS.

Autograph schedule

Tickets for the autograph sessions at PiratesFest will go on general sale at noon Monday at Pirates.com/PiratesFest . Tickets cost $20 for each of the four 60-minute sessions. Each session will be limited to 125 attendees.

The sessions will be held Dec. 8 at PNC Park. Francisco Cervelli, Trevor Williams and Tyler Glasnow will sign from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sean Rodriguez, Steven Brault and Adam Frazier will sign from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. Jameson Taillon, Josh Bell and Jordan Luplow will sign from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Clint Hurdle, Felipe Rivero and Max Moroff will sign from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.

PiratesFest will be held from noon to 6 p.m. Dec. 9 at PNC Park. That day's event will include free autograph sessions for fans ages 14-under.

Rob Biertempfel is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at rbiertempfel@tribweb.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 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.

click me