The Pittsburgh Pirates today exercised the $700,000 option for third baseman Pedro Alvarez for the 2013 season, while declining catcher Rod Barajas' $3.5 M option (no buyout) for next year.

Alvarez's $700,000 option was expected, as it was a part of his original contract when drafted by Pittsburgh in the first round of 2008. Alvarez blasted a career-high 30 home runs during the 2012 season, surpassing his previous mark of 16 set his rookie season in 2010. The 25-year-old third baseman finished with a .244 average.

Barajas' hit a career-low .206 average with the Pirates, with 11 home runs over 104 games. His 98 starts behind the plate were the most since 2009 with Toronto when he caught 110. Barajas' threw out just 5% of base runners this season (4-of-80). But while his offense strugg...

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