The Pittsburgh Pirates tendered contracts to all four of their arbitration eligible players on Friday night. Pitchers Gerrit Cole, Felipe Rivero, George Kontos and shortstop Jordy Mercer were all expected to be tendered today by the 8:00 PM deadline. The Pirates also tendered contracts to all of their 40-man roster players who either don’t already have guaranteed contract or don’t yet qualify for arbitration. That covers all of the players with less than three years of service time.
In our off-season primer article posted last month, Tim Williams went over the process that these players will go through. Here is his summary of the projected salaries for the arbitration players, as well as the steps in the process. He notes the rules of the arbitration filing process, but the last part about the Pirates being a “file and trial” team means that’s the route they will take this winter, just like many other teams are now doing.
Jordy Mercer, 3rd Year – $6,500,000
Gerrit Cole, 2nd Year – $7,500,000
Felipe Rivero, 1st Year – $3,100,000
George Kontos, 3rd Year – $2,700,000
Once offers are tendered, the team and the player will work to reach an agreement. If no agreement can be reached, the two sides file for arbitration during the first two weeks of January. Once they file for arbitration, the two sides exchange salary figures around the third week of January, and have their salary arbitration hearing during the first three weeks of February. The sides can reach a deal outside of the arbitration process at any time before the actual hearing, even immediately before the scheduled hearing.
If the negotiations do reach the hearing, both sides will argue their case for the salary they submitted, and the three person arbitration panel will determine which salary is more appropriate for the player. All decisions made by the panel are final, although the club and the player are free to re-negotiate the deal.
The Pirates are a file and trial team, which means if a deal isn’t worked out before players officially file for arbitration, then they will go to a hearing.