The weeks leading up to the start of arbitration hearings (February 4-20) are typically the time when multi-year extensions are worked out with arbitration-eligible players. For some other players, a one year deal is signed and then negotiations continue up until Spring Training to work out a long-term deal.
The Pirates have two players scheduled to go to arbitration in the form of Neil Walker and James McDonald. Three other players -- Garrett Jones, Charlie Morton and Gaby Sanchez -- signed 1-year deals earlier this month. Of these five players, Walker is the most likely candidate to sign a long-term extension. Tim and I have differing opinions on the subject. I'm for it, while Tim is against it.
The point of this article isn't to rehash the Walker long-term deal debate. Rather, it is to question whether it is best to go year to year with players or to lock certain ones in to gain cost certainty against future projected performance.