Tuesday, May 17, 2016

When the World Seems to Shine Like You've Had Too Much Wine...That's Cervelli

The Pirates signed Francisco Cervelli to a three-year contract extension today, keeping him in Pittsburgh through 2019. He was set to hit the market as a free agent after this campaign.

Per several reports, the deal is worth $9M in 2017, $10.5M in 2018 and $11.5M in 2019 without any options. There were reports during the off season hinting at some movement toward an extension; the figures being floated by Cervelli's camp at the time were 3years/$39M. Fran left some money and perhaps a year or two on the table (Russ Martin got 5 years/$82M), but tweeted "Here's where I want to be so I decided stay here."

Hey, did you hear the news...? (photo Keith Srakocic/Associated Press)

Fran joined the team last season in a trade with the New York Yankees for middle inning reliever Justin Wilson. He pulled in $987K last year and $3.5M for this season.

In his time with the Bucs, he's dispelled injury concerns, catching 163 games in Pittsburgh to date, with a slash of .291/.373/.384. Cervelli is also a solid defensive player, with good base-stealing numbers and a rep as one of the better pitch framers.

This solidifies a very iffy catching situation looming in 2017, with Elias Diaz having elbow surgery and Reese McGuire nowhere near MLB ready. Now with Cervelli's signing and Stew's two-year extension, the last hole among the position players has been closed.

The contract continues a solid effort by the FO to keep the Pirates together. Fran joins Cutch, Starling Marte, Josh Harrison and Gregory Polanco as guys who were extended, with Jung Ho Kang, Jordy Mercer and Gerrit Cole all under team control through at least 2018. The Indy pipeline is pretty full, too, so the Pirates just opened their competitive window a lot wider.

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