Today the Pittsburgh Pirates picked up the option year for Pedro Alvarez. Alvarez has a unique contract which usually brings some confusion about how long the Pirates have him under control. As a refresher, I thought I’d break down his deal.
Alvarez is still under the deal he signed out of the draft (or to be more accurate, the second deal he signed out of the draft). That deal called for $700,000 options in 2013 and 2014. Either option could be voided by Alvarez if he would have been arbitration eligible. Since he won’t be arbitration eligible in 2013, the Pirates were able to pick up his option. Next off-season he’ll be able to void the $700,000 option.
Normally when players have option years and those options are bought out or voided, the player becomes a free agent. That’s not the case with Alvarez. All players are under team control until they reach six years of service time. Alvarez will see his original deal expire before he reaches six years of service time in the majors. From there, he would continue as if he didn’t previously have a deal. His first arbitration year will be in 2014, followed by two more in 2015 and 2016. He will be eligible for free agency following the 2016 season.
So the Pirates have Alvarez through the 2016 season. It’s just a unique situation where his contract expires before six years of service time, and has option years involved when he normally would be in his final year of league minimum pay. They probably won’t have him beyond 2016, since he’s a Scott Boras client, and Boras clients rarely sign extensions to buy out free agent years.
Links and Notes
**Arizona Fall League Recap: 10/31. Included in this is a note about Vic Black being named to the AFL Rising Stars game.