Friday, January 15, 2016

Notes: Arb Signings - All But Stew; Former Players Moving Into New Careers; Bunts & Names

Everyone inked but Chris Stewart, ex-Bucs starting their life's work and a couple of baseball pieces...

  • Fran Cervelli agreed to a $3.5M contract with the Bucs to carry him into his walk year, according to Jon Heyman. That's a nice bump over his projected $2.5M value as calculated by Matt Schwartz of MLBTradeRumors (as are all the projections noted).
Fran Cervelli (photo Dave Arrigo/Pirates)
  • Heyman also reported that Jody Mercer inked a deal for $2.075M, pretty close to his projected value. Now if he just comes out of the box swinging this year - he's a .209 hitter through May, and a .274 batter afterward. 
  • Bill Brink was first to discover that Tony Watson signed for $3.45M, well under the $4.6M value that was floated. The set-up man is in line to become the Bucco closer in the near future.
  • LHP Jeff Locke has settled at $3.025M for the 2016 season per Ken Rosenthal. He was projected to have an arb value of $3.5M. Locke worked a career high 168-1/3 IP last season, and was 8-11/4.49. The staff was working on simplifying his motion during mini-camp, and a more consistent Locke would be a huge boost to the back of the Pirate rotation. 
  • Ben Nicholson-Smith tweeted that Jared Hughes signed for $2.175M, almost on the nose for his estimated value. He's carved out a pretty effective notch as Clint's mid-inning fireman.
  • The last guy inked: Mark the Shark. His value was estimated at $10M for 2016; Heyman says he signed for $9.65M.
Mark Melancon (photo Dave Arrigo/Pirates)
  • The Pirates have agreed to a two-year extension with C Chris Stewart, 34, according to Robert Murray of Baseball Essential (a bit prematurely, it seems). The deal also comes with a club option for a third season. No details on the amount yet; he was projected to have $1.6M value for 2016. The agreement isn't final yet; Stew did file for arb while the details are being hashed out, altho it appears everything is on track pending his physical. The proposed length indicates that Pittsburgh and Fran Cervelli aren't near agreement on a contract beyond this season, his final arb campaign. That opens the door for Elias Diaz and eventually Reese McGuire. 
  • Ben Lindbergh of FiveThirtyEight charts the ebb of bunts, pitchouts and intentional walks.
  • Cut Four's Chris Landers has the story behind six team names, including the Pirates; it's an interesting little slice of MLB history.
  • On LSU's list of spring football walk-ons for spring: LHP Zack Von Rosenberg, 2009 6th round pick of the Bucs, since released. He was an All-State punter in HS, and many speculate that's his niche for the Tigers, the school he had committed to (for baseball) before being drafted and lured away with a $1.2M signing bonus.
  • Hot Rod Barajas will manage San Diego's AAA El Paso Chihuahuas in 2016. He's managed in the Padre system since 2014 at Rookie League, then AA, levels.
  • Kip Wells, 39, joined the LA Dodgers organization as the pitching coach for Class-A Rancho Cucamonga.

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