Pirates Agree to Terms with 27 Pre-Arbitration Players

The Pittsburgh Pirates announced that they have agreed to terms with 27 pre-arbitration players on the 40-man roster. They also renewed the contract of Oneil Cruz.

This is just standard procedure, no real news here. Pre-arbitration players don’t have a say in their salary, so it’s up to the teams to decide that part. Minimum salary went up to $720,000 this year from $700,000 last year, so everyone had a built in salary raise guaranteed. That’s their salary at the big league level only, so players who only spend part of the year in the majors will get a pro-rated salary. Max Kranick is on the 60-day injured list right now, so he will get a Major League salary during that time.

The Oneil Cruz difference is that he didn’t sign his contract. No reason was given, but none of these players actually have to sign their deals. When they don’t, then the contract just renews.

John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.

When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.

Support Pirates Prospects

Related articles

join the discussion

Notify of
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Cruz sounds like a “hope for a 5 fWAR year and trade” candidate


Lots of body language readers and people that can measure effort by watching the games. I remember when some people flipped out because Cruz pointed to his imaginary watch when he rounded the bases.

Interesting insight from Drecker


If they don’t extend Cruz by next year, he’s gone after 6 yrs. I don’t know the dollars that would be involved, but I think it would be cheaper to extend him than try to pay him 4-6 yrs down the road.


The main question is whether or not either are actually a good idea.


Look at the Atlanta Braves and other progressive baseball clubs


Thats the same question for every single player given a contract after their rookie year. Grady Sizemore’s, Mark Prior’s, Dontrell Willis’s, and 100 other players come to mind. There is a performance risk and a health risk to all these players. at any level during their career, but especially at the beginning. Small market teams don’t have the luxury of being careful if they want to compete.


What small markets must do is continually find undervalued assets.

Are pre-arb extensions really a value play at this point? Is locking in large portions of your available budget at market rates going to give them leverage over better-funded teams?

It’s not 2012-2015 anymore, and I think it’s very much an open question of where your money stretches furthest.


Extending these young Players is not The current market price. Look at Hayes extensions. He could get more on the open market.


Like you said, it’s not 2012-15 anymore. Finding undervalued assets isn’t so easy anymore. Plus you need a lot more than that …it’s not enough leverage against better funded teams


Whatever the reason it’s unsettling to those of us who want to see him get extended.




When Dreker shoots he don’t miss.


Seriously, I figured Cruz had some immaturity but when Dreker shoots I think of Lemieux or Reggie Miller. Clutch.


Maybe for one reason or another he is someone that would prioritize getting guaranteed life-changing money early rather than worrying about maxing it out later


Not too surprised, dude has the body language of a toddler.


I’ve never heard that he isn’t a hard worker. I must’ve missed so,etching along the way. That is NOT good news, to be sure.


Just watch him play, bare minimum effort at all times and his biggest flaw is very clearly lack of discipline. Main reason I have little confidence he’ll ever clean up his defense to be good at SS.

Dudes in their 20s are often immature and can obviously change, but he’s got a lot of growing up to do.

Last edited 13 days ago by NMR
Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

Longenhagen touched on this a bit when NS9 had him on. Mentioned how one time, I believe it was AFL, he just forgot his jersey


The corrupt crash investigation also sort of papered over the fact that he was still out after curfew joyriding with friends and potentially wasn’t even in his own lane at the time of impact. Crash should have never happened.

History of bad decisions which can be excused by youth, but need to tighten up awfully quickly before they are who he is as a man.


He pretty explicitly got called out by the FO.




This dates me, but reading this about Cruz reminds me of Derrick Coleman (the 90s-00s NBA player, not the 10s NFL player). All the talent in the world, could have been the best power forward the NBA had ever seen, but was a “just enough” effort guy and malcontent, but despite that minimal effort was still a solid 20 pts/10 rb night in and night out. I don’t know how you convert that in 90s NBA to a WAR stat, but it’s probably a ~4 WAR, fringe all-star level. And the guy just didn’t give a shit.


Rasheed Wallace is a guy that comes to my mind. Wallace could do things that other players could only dream about. He was just a mess between the ears. I think DC’s real problem was he was just fat.


I actually think Wallace was a pretty good player all in all. Definitely a whiner on the court, but he played on several Finals teams, 4x all-star, was useful even in his nomad stage. Once he moved from center to power forward he could stretch the floor a little more, even made a fair number of 3s in his day (kind of a prototype of Anthony Davis). You can quibble with the fact that he didn’t rebound the ball as well as a guy with his size should, but other than that I think he had a good career.

I don’t remember Coleman being fat, but I do remember Shawn Kemp coming back after the lockout like 50 lbs heavier and never being a factor again.


I remember reading an article on how Shawn Kemp had kids in a bunch of different NBA cities or something of the like. I think Scott Skiles did as well. That’s right, that Scott Skiles. No judgment being passed. Just something that popped into my head. I can picture the Kemp you’re referring.
Did Wallace have some sort of birthmark on his head? Another random memory.


Wallace had a patch of hair on the back of his head that was discolored – probably prematurely gray. He shaved it off and it became a thing.


Wallace could have been an all time great. He could sit at the 3 point line and drain three’s left handed. He had every physical gift you could want in a player, just didn’t have the mindset to do it.


I do remember he was pretty highly touted coming out of UNC. But you know every couple years there are freaks of nature who are supposed to take over the NBA. I’m still waiting for Zion Williamson to be a thing.


Good shout. I must be around your date. I don’t remember all that much of him at Syracuse but I remember his pro days and wondering what all the hype was about. Not saying he wasn’t a hard worker because I loved watching Iverson play back in the day. But we all know how he felt about practice.


Wow. Thanks for all that great info. Makes me think more about what these GM’s have to think about when signing someone to mind numbing dollars. Also makes me wonder what other players in the clubhouse think of him. Especially the ones grinding day to day.

Share article

Pirates Prospects Daily

Latest articles

Pirates Prospects Weekly

MONDAY: First Pitch

TUESDAY: Article Drop


THURSDAY: Roundtable

FRIDAY: Discussion

SATURDAY: Pirates Draft Report

SUNDAY: Pirates Business

Latest comments

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x