The Pittsburgh Pirates and second baseman Neil Walker will sign a one year deal for $5.75 M according to Rob Biertempfel, avoiding arbitration. They also signed reliever Vin Mazzaro for $950,000 according to Biertempfel. They have officially avoided arbitration with every eligible player now ahead of the deadline to exchange figures.
Neil Walker was projected to make $4.8 M, while Vin Mazzaro was projected to be $800,000 for the 2014 season. Walker received a significant raise over what was projected. He made $3.3 M last season.
Walker played 133 games for the Pirates in 2013, putting up a .251/.339/.418 slash line. He hit a career high 16 homers and drove in 53 runs. Mazzaro went 8-2, 2.81 in 57 relief outings. He threw a total of 73.2 innings and had 46 strikeouts and a 1.21 WHIP
John was born in Kearny, NJ, hometown of the 2B for the Pirates 1909 World Championship team, Dots Miller. In fact they have some of the same relatives in common, so it was only natural for him to become a lifelong Pirates fan. Before joining Pirates Prospects in July 2010, John had written numerous articles on the history of baseball while also releasing his own book and co-authoring another on the history of the game. He writes a weekly article on Pirates history for the site, has already interviewed many of the current minor leaguers with many more on the way and follows the foreign minor league teams very closely for the site. John also provides in person game reports of the West Virginia Power and Altoona Curve.