-- 1B Adam LaRoche supposedly turned down a 2-year/
-- RF Xavier Nady signed a one-year/$6.65M with the Yankees for 2009, avoiding his last arbitration season, and then had TJ surgery. He’s a free agent this year.
-- RHP Matt Capps signed a $3.5M contract with Washington with $425K in bonuses.
-- LF Jason Bay inked a deal with the Mets for 4-years/$66M, including a vesting option for 2014 that could bring the total to $80M over five years. The contract contains a $17M option for 2014 that vests if Bay reaches 600 plate appearances in 2013 or 500 in both 2012 and 2013; both are easily attainable if he remains healthy.
-- RHP Jesse Chavez had a $402K contract in 2009. He won’t be arbitration-eligible until 2012.
-- LHP John Grabow became the first MLB free agent to reach a new deal when he signed a 2-year/$7.5M contract with the Chicago Cubs.
-- SS Jack Wilson signed with Seattle for 2-years/$10M and can earn $250K a year in performance bonuses. The M’s avoided the $8.4M option with a $600K buyout under Wilson’s old Bucco deal. He reportedly rejected a Pirate offer for two years and $8M.
-- The Giants swapped 2B Freddy Sanchez's $8.1M Pittsburgh option for a two-year/$12M deal. He supposedly turned down a 2-year/$10M offer by the Bucs.
-- RHP Ian Snell has a year and $4.25M remaining on his deal with $6.75M and $9.25M club options for 2011-12.
-- LHP Tom Gorzelanny is entering his first year of arbitration. He made $433K in 2009, and the Cubs have tendered him.
-- LHP Sean Burnett is arbitration-eligible this year, and the Nat’s tendered him a contract offer. Burney earned $408,500 in 2009.
-- LF Nyjer Morgan won’t be arbitration-eligible until 2012. He earned $411,500 in 2009.
-- CF Nate McLouth has $4.5M and $6.5M due to him from the Braves in the next two years, with a $10.65M club option ($1.25M buyout) for 2012.
-- LHP Damaso Marte signed a 3 year/$12M deal with the Yankees in 2009, after the Bronx Bombers turned down his $6M Pirate option.
-- RHP Salomon Torres made $3.333M in 2008 and retired in 2009, even though Milwaukee exercised his $3.75M option.
And this tells us what? Well, it sure draws the line in the sand – when you make $3M, you’re on the Bucco gonzo list, at least in this stage of the Pirates’ development.
So if we were Paul Maholm ($4.5M), Akinora Iwamura ($4.25M), Ryan Doumit ($3.55M) or Zach Duke (he made $2.2M in 2009 and is up for arbitration that's sure to net him more than $3M), we wouldn’t get real comfortable.
The first exception to the "trade down" rule was in Iwamura's case, when the team dealt Jesse Chavez, affordable and under team control until 2014, for a guy in his walk year with a real MLB contract.
We'll see about him; the Pirates say they'll try to resign him if he's a fit, but we suspect he's another July trade waiting to happen.
Still, it'd be nice to see a couple of players land here and plug a hole or two while the farm raises its crop. Maybe someone like, oh, Xavier Nady...as long as he doesn't ask for $3M.
(Unless otherwise noted, the contract info was taken from Cot's Contracts.)