Thursday, January 31, 2013

Walker, McDonald Sign

Hey, good news on the Bucco front. The Pirates announced that they have agreed to terms with 2B Neil Walker and RHP James McDonald on contracts for 2013 and avoided salary arbitration. We thought that J-Mac would ink a deal before the hearings took place; we weren't so sure about The Kid. Now everyone's safely in the fold.

In 2012, Walker had a slash of .280/.342/.426, right in line with his career averages. His one red flag was a disk injury that made him a part-time player in September. McDonald was 12-8/4.21, suffering a second half meltdown of Biblical proportions.

When the numbers for arbitration were recently exchanged, Walker asked for $3.6M and was offered $3M; J-Mac asked for $3.4M and was offered $2.65M. Matt Schwarz of MLB Trade Rumors estimated their arb values were $2.9M for Walker and $3M for McDonald.

J-Mac's midpoint and estimated value match, so he had common ground to deal with the FO. But Walker's midpoint ($3.3M) is $400K higher than his arb estimate, and as a Super 2 guy, this year will set his baseline through the 2016 season. In fact, it's the first arb year for both players; J-Mac is under control through 2015.

The financial terms of the deals were not announced; when they come available, we'll post the figures for you. (EDIT - Tom Singer of posted that they both signed at their midpoint: "According to multiple reports, Walker signed for $3.3 million and McDonald for $3.025 million") We're glad neither Hendricks Sports, representing the pair, nor the FO decided to play hardball; both deals appear fair to both sides.

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