The extension that Jose Tabata signed last off-season was an incredibly team friendly deal. The Pirates locked the young outfielder up through the 2019 season. He will make $4.5 M or less in the next five years. The extension bought out three free agent years. However, all three are option years with $250 K buyouts. If Tabata lives up to expectations, the contract will be a steal, and the free agent years -- $6.5 M, $7.5 M, and $8.5 M respectively -- will be incredible values. If Tabata doesn't improve on his 2011 numbers, at worst he will end up as a slightly expensive but very strong fourth outfielder, and the Pirates will have an inexpensive way out of his free agent years.
The deal is incredibly team friendly, locking a young player up for the long term, buying out control of multiple free agent years, and all at a low cost.
Andrew McCutchen's extension is different than Tabata's deal in many ways. There's a lot more guaranteed money. Two of the three free agent years are guarant...
Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.