Pirates Make Starling Marte Extension Official; Contract Details

The Pittsburgh Pirates have officially announced the six year extension for Starling Marte, which was agreed to yesterday. Marte is signed to a six year, $31 M deal with two option years. The deal guarantees one of his free agent years, and buys out control of three of his free agent years.

Jon Heyman has the breakdown of the contract. Marte will receive the following salary amounts:

Signing Bonus: $2 M

2014: $500,000

2015: $1 M

2016: $3 M

2017: $5 M

2018: $7.5 M

2019: $10 M

2020: $12.5 M option

2021: $13.5 M option

Buyout: $2 M

The option years come with escalators, so the overall deal could be greater than above. Right now it looks like Marte’s deal is for a maximum of eight years and $55 M. Yesterday I wrote about how the Pirates could get a huge value from this extension.

The Future Payroll Chart is updated with the extension.




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Ben Swogger

Sorry if I missed it but are those team options or player options?


Team options with 2M buyout if they decline the option. Basically they have 8 more years of control over Starling at a great rate assuming he even just plays close to what he did last year. I personally think he still going to get much better.


Tim have you heard anything that the Pirates has approached Walker more than once about an extension but he told the Pirates he was not interested . That was mentioned by a poster on another site but I have not heard that .


Looks like a good contract for player and team also makes Marte a very tradeable asset should the Pirates need to make a major move. Meadows and Bell have to have a place to play in 2 or 3 years.


Why would you even mention trading Marte?? The whole point of this great extension is to have him thru his prime. Yeah lets just trade him him in 2-3 years for an unproven guy even though we got you to sign this great extension to stay with us. lol – No way!!


Hopefully, Bell is at 1B.

S Brooks

Tim, I know you covered the potential excess value in this contract in a post yesterday, but looking at the details this looks like an absolute steal, particularly when compared to the long-term deals Atlanta has in place for Freeman and Simmons (the Teheran deal is pretty team-friendly, but of course assumes a ton more risk since it’s for a pitcher).

FanGraphs has the price of a free-market win at about $6M, and the generally accepted rule of thumb for arb pricing is 40%/60%/80% of free market value for non-Super 2’s throughout their 3 turns.

So let’s assume that Marte settles in as a year-in, year-out 4-win player, start with $6M/WAR and assume no inflation, even though that’s not realistic (inflation would make the contract look even more team-friendly than it already is).

For his 3 arb years, Marte would be worth $72M on the open market, for a combined arb value of $43.2M. The Pirates will be paying him $15.5M + a prorated share of his signing bonus, so $16.5M.

Let’s assume the Bucs pick up all options. For his 3 free agent years, Marte would be worth $72M on the open market. The Pirates locked him up for $36M (plus $333k in prorated signing bonus). That’s over $60M in excess value if he maintains a 4-WAR.

The break-even point for this contract is if Marte becomes an average major league, a 2-WAR guy, over the life of the contract.

I guess basically I’m saying I really love this extension.


So the priorities become:

1. Polanco
2. Martin
3. Walker

Any chance we negotiate with any of them? Liriano perhaps, although I feel we will QO him if he puts together a season close to the last this year?


Why Walker? He can’t become a free agent until he’s 32, and is coming off his worst offensive season. He’s also become injury prone, and the Bucs have Hanson who will most likely end up at 2B.


No rush on Polanco. Yes Longoria signed an extension right away, but nobody else has and there must not be any real benefit for the team to do so.
I don’t see an extension for Martin. That would mean they’re unwilling to give their 4th overall pick in the draft a chance even after he’s proven himself at AAA. Hope he has another good year like last, give him the QO and hope he refuses it to sign a multi year deal with the Red Sox.
This could be a big season for Walker’s chances for an extension. If he doesn’t take a step forward, there’s no reason to extend a good but not great player unless the terms are very friendly. If he continues the pace he’s done the last few years, just go year to year with him or even dangle him in a trade while he has 2 years of arb left to see what you’d get in return.
The more I think about it, the more I like the idea someone (jaygray007 maybe?) of saving money now and pay either Sandoval or Headley next year. Maybe even trading for Headley this year to give him a taste of the playoffs in the burgh.


I’d rather extend Cutch than Walker.


He has already been extended through the 2018 season, another re-up won’t be discussed until 2016 at earliest.


I would think that they wait until next year to talk with Polanco, but who knows? As for Martin, NH said on his radio show on Sunday that he’d love to keep Martin but he suspects that other teams will be offering him enormous amounts of money to sign with them. He went on to praise Tony Sanchez. I would much prefer to head into the future with Martin than without him, but c’est la vie. I would inquire about buying a year of Cole’s free agency, even though he is a pitcher, and 6 years is a lifetime for a pitcher. I would ask Liriano’s agent if he is willing to sign a 3 year deal and for how much, but beyond that I’m not sure what the front office should do.

S Brooks

NH can inquire about buying out a year of Cole, but it’s not coming at a discount. Just for reference, Boras turned down 24M AAV for Scherzer.

The pipeline looks really strong for pitching – maybe some questions about the back of the rotation in ’15 assuming Kingham and Joely aren’t quite ready to go opening day. You’d have Cole, Taillon, Morton, one of Cumpton/Locke (assuming the other is traded for a bat at some point). Then it’s kind of a grab bag of Pimentel, maybe a stretched out Justin Wilson. Irwin and McPherson will be in the mix too. And of course, Kingham and Rodriguez in the summer, if needed.

Also for reference, Frankie in ’15 will be 5 years younger than AJ is now – he’ll be in demand on the FA market. Might be worth making a QO.

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