Friday, January 16, 2015

Arb Day - Nine Signed: Neil, Pedro, Vance Opt For Arb; Kang Officially Inked

1 PM was the deadline for the arb-eligible players and the Bucs to exchange arbitration figures. The Pirates have a dozen players eligible for arbitration: Pedro Alvarez, Neil Walker, Mark Melancon, Josh Harrison, Tony Watson, Francisco Cervelli, Jared Hughes, Travis Snider, Antonio Bastardo, Chris Stewart, Vance Worley and Sean Rodriguez. The FO has already released arb-eligible players Ike Davis, Gaby Sanchez, John Axford, Jeanmar Gomez and Chaz Roe.

Unlike last year, there were no early signings, but the Buccos tend to announce their arb signings en masse. This year is a bit more of a poser as some top guns are on the arb list.

Players/signed (settlements reported by WAPT's Mike Perchick; arb time & salary estimates in parenthesis by MLBTR's Matt Schwartz): 
  • Pedro Alvarez (year 2 – $5.5M)
  • Antonio Bastardo: signed for $3.1M (year 3 – $2.8M)
  • Francisco Cervelli: $987,500 (year 2 – $1.1M)
  • Josh Harrison: $2.8M (year 1 – $2.2M)
  • Jared Hughes: $1.075M (Super 2 – $1.1M)
  • Mark Melancon $5.4M (year 2 – $7.6M)
  • Sean Rodriguez: $1.0M (year 3 – $2.0M)
  • Chris Stewart: signed for $1.225M (year 2 –$1.3M)
  • Travis Snider: $2.1M (year 2 – $2.0M)
  • Neil Walker (year 3 of 4 – $8.6M)
  • Tony Watson: $1.75M (year 2 – $2.0M)
  • Vance Worley (Super 2 – $2.9M) 
Updated: The Pirates announced that Neil Walker, Pedro Alvarez, and Vance Worley will go to arbitration. The Bucco FO uses the "file and trial" method (no negotiations from now until the arbitration hearings next month), so it looks like the arbitrator will make the call on those three. Or not; the Pirates under Neal Huntington haven't had this many players total go to arbitration total, much less in one season, so they may change their tune a bit, and there's not a huge spread between the asks and the offers. We'll see.

Per Perchick: Neil Walker asked for $9M; the Pirates countered with $8M. Pedro and the Bucs are close - he filed for $5.75M with the Pirates offering $5.25M. Rob Biertempfel of the Trib reported that Vance Worley asked for $2.45M; Pittsburgh bid $2M. So far, the midpoints are pretty much in the expected fiscal ballpark, so they may be able to shake hands before the February hearings.


In other news, Jung-Ho Kang officially signed, although the financial terms weren't released. Tom Singer of tweeted that it was a deal of four years/$11M guaranteed, including a $250K buy-out of a $5.5M option for 2019; there are quite likely some pretty hefty bonuses included that are part of the package. (The Bucs confirmed the contract length and the option year.)

The infielder will train in Arizona with his former club, Nexen, before reporting to spring training in February. The GM said that the team has "zero intent" of starting Kang in the minors and he will open as a "complimentary" (bench sub) player. The Bucs will have to eventually drop a man from the 40-man roster to clear space for him. And finally, the team announced that Kang would sport #27.

Jung-Ho Kang photo from Pittsburgh Pirates

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