Sunday, September 30, 2012

2013 Contracts, Arbitration, Team Control

Well, enough for 2012. It's time to look ahead at 2013 and the Pirates' contract situation for the upcoming season.

They have Cutch, AJ Burnett, Wandy Rodriguez, Clint Barmes and Jose Tabata inked to deals. In 2013, AJ and Barmes will be in their final seasons, with Burnett knocking down $16.5M and Barmes $5.5M. Wandy will earn $13.5M and has a player option in 2014 for $13M. McCutch and JT are locked in long term, with Cutch taking home $4.708M and Tabata $1.167M next year. Those five guys are guaranteed $27.875M after the $13.5M chipped in by the Yankees and Astros are subtracted, and all should return to the roster.

The only players with option tears in 2013 are Rod Barajas and Pedro Alvarez. Hot Rod has a $3.5M team option with no buyout. He has already said he'll talk contract if the Bucs, thin at catching, want him back. El Toro doesn't have enough time to opt for arbitration, so he'll return under a $700K team option.

Pirates that will be in free agency next season are Jason Grilli, Kevin Correia, Chad Qualls and Hisanori Takahashi ($4.2M); he'll be set free. Grilli ($1.1M) and Qualls ($1.15M) may get offers from the team, Grilli because of his performance and Qualls because the management has a jones for him. But Jason will be expensive in his walk year after two solid seasons as Hanny's caddy, and he'd be foolhardy not to see what the market has to offer. Qualls would be a depth signing. KC ($4M) will visit the marketplace.

As to be expected from a young team, there are a boatload of arb-eligible guys. Joel Hanrahan ($4.1M) and Jeff Karstens ($3.1M) are in their third and final year of arbitration. We wouldn't be surprised to see both tendered and traded during the off season. Hanny should have good value as a trade piece while JK has worked himself into the doghouse and a possible non-tender situation, although the Pirate rotation is far from set next season. We don't think that has to do so much with salary as trust; the Pirates aren't convinced his body can hold up under a full season of work.

Garrett Jones ($2.25M), a Super Two player, will enter his second year of arb. His versatility and middle of the order punch should guarantee him a return ticket to Pittsburgh. Chris Resop ($850K) may be getting a little pricy as a bridge reliever. So may be the injured Charlie Morton ($2.445M). Our sense is the FO will try to sign all three guys to contracts for role and depth purposes, though Resop and Morton, to a lesser degree, are coin flips.

The first year arb class has some building block players in Neil Walker and James McDonald, and Gaby Sanchez is a guy who the Pirates want to keep. They're all minimum wage earners now, and all should return in 2013.

The biggest question will be how the FO handles The Kid. He's 27, has a balky back, and is a Super Two player, but is one of Pittsburgh's core members, so there are a lot of moving pieces involved with him contractually. It'll be interesting to see how it plays out, as he's said he's open to off season negotiations. Another story line will be what value the brass and J-Mick have in mind. Can they reach a mutual mid-point or will his salary be determined at a hearing?

Starling Marte, Alex Presley, Mike McKenry, Jared Hughes, Tony Watson, Josh Harrison, Jordy Mercer and Chris Leroux are all safely under team control, as are all the Indy guys like Jeff Locke, Kyle McPherson and Brock Holt.

(all the data was taken from Cot's Baseball Contracts)

No comments: