Pittsburgh Pirates 2013-14 Off-Season Contract Situations

The MLB off-season is full of potential moves, whether those moves are free agency, option years, arbitration eligible players, or non-tender candidates. Earlier this week I looked at some of the bigger moves that were in store for the Pirates this off-season. Below is a list of players who are eligible for off-season transactions, along with some important dates for those transactions.

Pending Free Agents

5th Day After the World Series – MLB Players become eligible for free agency

A.J. Burnett

Justin Morneau

John Buck

Clint Barmes

Jeff Karstens

Marlon Byrd

Kyle Farnsworth

The Pirates will try to bring back A.J. Burnett. I could see them also trying to bring back Marlon Byrd, since right field is a position of need. Other interesting options I’d pursue would be Clint Barmes (same as his 2013 role with Jordy Mercer), Jeff Karstens (minor league deal) and Kyle Farnsworth (minor league deal).

Option Years

2nd Day After World Series – Deadline to exercise option years

Francisco Liriano – 1 year, $6 M vesting option

Wandy Rodriguez – 1 year, $13 M player option

Liriano will have the chance to make an additional $2.5 M next year based on how many innings and starts he has. His 2014 option has already vested, so he’s under contract for $6 M. If Wandy Rodriguez exercises his player option, the Pirates would receive $5.5 M from the Houston Astros.

Arbitration Eligible

December 2nd – Deadline to tender arbitration

Garrett Jones** – 3rd out of 4 years

Charlie Morton – 3rd out of 3 years

Neil Walker – 2nd out of 4 years

Gaby Sanchez** – 2nd out of 3 years

Pedro Alvarez – 1st out of 3 years

Mark Melancon – 1st out of 3 years

Travis Snider** – 1st out of 3 years

Vin Mazzaro** – 1st out of 3 years

Felix Pie** – 1st out of 3 years

Michael McKenry* – 1st out of 4 years

*Likely Super Two Eligible

**Non-Tender Candidate

Charlie Morton, Neil Walker, Pedro Alvarez, and Mark Melancon will definitely be back. I could see the Garrett Jones/Gaby Sanchez platoon being non-tendered, since they could make up to $9 M combined in 2014. Travis Snider could also be a non-tender candidate since he doesn’t have any options remaining, and since Jose Tabata would be the fourth outfielder if the Pirates add a starter (or the probable starter if the Pirates don’t add anyone). I could see Vin Mazzaro being traded, much like the Pirates have done with other middle relievers in previous years when they hit arbitration.

Michael McKenry projects to be Super Two eligible. I don’t see him costing much, likely coming in at under $1 M. He has an option next year, and I could see the Pirates using him out of Triple-A as the third catcher, with Tony Sanchez as the backup.

Under Contract

Russell Martin – $8,500,000

Andrew McCutchen – $7,250,000

Jason Grilli – $4,000,000

Jose Tabata – $3,000,000

Out of Options

Jeanmar Gomez

Bryan Morris

Kyle McPherson

Stolmy Pimentel

Jerry Sands

Andy Oliver

Travis Snider

Vin Mazzaro

Felix Pie

Kyle McPherson could qualify for a fourth option year, since his 2013 season was lost to injury. It wouldn’t make a big difference, since he will likely start the 2014 season on the 60-day DL. However, it could give the Pirates some flexibility when he returns around mid-season.

The lack of options could impact the roster chances for Jerry Sands, Andy Oliver, Travis Snider, Vin Mazzaro, and Felix Pie. I think the others will make the Opening Day roster, despite their lack of options.

Author: Tim Williams

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.

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