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Pittsburgh Pirates Avoid Arbitration with All Eligible Players

January 17th, 2014 at 7:48 PM
By Allan Smith

After the Pittsburgh Pirates agreed to terms with Travis Snider on a one year, $1.2 million deal late Thursday night, the Pirates reached deals with the remaining five arbitration eligible players Friday, the same day the players representatives and the team would be exchanging figures.

Neil Walker, Pedro Alvarez, Mark Melancon, Gaby Sanchez and Vin Mazarro all agreed to one-year contracts for the 2014 season with the Pirates. Walker, who will be making 5.75 million, will have the highest salary of the group, beating out Alvarez's $4.25 million. While Alvarez was an All-Star last season when he tied for the NL lead in home runs, Walker was going through the arbitration process for the second time, which in turn led to a larger raise over his $3.3 million salary from 2013. In addition, while Alvarez did tie for the league lead in home runs, he also led the league in strikeouts and posted an OBP of .296 while batting .233. Walker, who cracked a career-high 16 home runs, hit .251 while missing 29 games due to multiple injuries and subsequent disabled list trips. As a Super 2 player, Walker is in his second of four years of arbitration eligibility. After voiding a $700,000 option for the 2014 season, Alvarez entered arbitration for the first of three potential times.

'Neil Walker' photo (c) 2012, Keith Allison - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

In his second of three years of eligibility, Sanchez signed a deal for $2.3 million, a slight raise over his 2013 salary of $1.75 million. Sanchez hit .254 with a .361 OBP in 2013. However, he hit .333 with a .539 slugging percentage against left-handed pitchers, but had a .619 OPS against righties.

Melancon, a first time All-Star in 2013, was a lights-out setup man and closer for the Bucs in 2013, maintaining a 1.39 ERA over 71 innings of work. Entering arbitration for the first time, he signed for $2.925 million. Mazzaro, who was eligible for the first time as well, will earn $950,000 after tossing 73 2/3 innings of quality relief for the Bucs.

'Pedro Alvarez' photo (c) 2012, Jon Dawson - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

The contracts will bring the Pirates payroll to $70.8 million. Including the roughly $5 million that will be paid to players making around the league-minimum as well as the contracts for those on the 40-man roster, the Pirates payroll will be around $76 million, with the Astros paying $5.5 million of Wandy Rodriguez's salary. They opened last season with an $80 million payroll, however they received $13 million from the Yankees and Astros for A.J. Burnett and Rodriguez.

 

 

Tags: Baseball, Gaby Sanchez, Mark Melancon, MLB, Neil Walker, Payroll, Pedro Alvarez, Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Pirates, Travis Snider, Vin Mazarro

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