Pirates avoid arbitration with Corey Dickerson, Keone Kela
The Pittsburgh Pirates avoided the sometimes-messy arbitration process, beating the deadline by agreeing to one-year contracts with Corey Dickerson and Keone Kela on Friday.
Dickerson became the Pirates’ starting left fielder last season after a spring-training trade from the Tampa Bay Rays, and Kela became their top set-up man after a trade-deadline acquisition from the Texas Rangers.
Dickerson, who will be a free agent after the season, made $5.95 million last season. The 29-year-old won a Gold Glove and hit .300 with an .804 OPS and 13 home runs in 135 games. He led the Pirates in batting average, was second in slugging percentage (.474) and OPS and third in home runs.
Per baseball-reference.com’s WAR (Wins Above Replacement) metric, Dickerson was tied for the second Pirates’ most valuable player last season behind only starting pitcher Jameson Taillon.
Kela was the Rangers closer when the Pirates acquired him for prospects Taylor Hearn and Sherten Apostel on July 31. In 16 appearances over the remainder of the season, Kela had 22 strikeouts and allowed 10 hits, five walks and five runs in 15 1/3 innings.
Kela, a 25-year-old right-hander, made $1.2 million last season and is under the Pirates’ contractual control through 2021.
Friday was the MLB deadline for arbitration-eligible players and their teams to exchange salary figures, after which an independent arbitrator would pick one of the salaries after a hearing. Dickerson and Kela were the Pirates’ only arbitration-eligible players.
Chris Adamski is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chris at email@example.com or via Twitter @C_AdamskiTrib.