Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Alvarez, Walker among 5 Who OK 1-Year Deals

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Alvarez, Walker among 5 Who OK 1-Year Deals

Article excerpt

The Pirates avoided salary arbitration with all five of their remaining eligible players, agreeing to terms with them by the deadline Friday to exchange figures.

Second baseman Neil Walker, first baseman Gaby Sanchez, third baseman Pedro Alvarez and relief pitchers Mark Melancon and Vin Mazzaro agreed to one-year contracts for 2014. They joined Travis Snider, who avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year deal Thursday night.

The contracts, including Snider's, added about $17 million to the 2014 payroll.

"Both parties should prefer to avoid that hearing room," general manager Neal Huntington said this week. "It's a tough process."

Walker, who was a Super 2 player last season and was in his second out of four years of arbitration eligibility, will make $5.75 million, according to a source. Walker made $3.3 million in 2013. Sanchez, in his second of three years of eligibility, agreed to $2.3 million, up from $1.75 million last year.

Alvarez, who voided a $700,000 option for 2014 because he was eligible for arbitration for the first time, will make $4.25 million, according to a source. Melancon and Mazzaro, each eligible for the first time, will make $2,595,000 and $950,000 respectively.

Snider agreed to a $1.2 million contract.

The contracts increased the 2014 payroll commitments to $70.8 million for 16 players. Including the $5 million or so that will go to the nine players making at or around the major league minimum salary of $500,000 and the rest of the 40-man roster, their payroll will rise north of $76 million. The Houston Astros will pay $5.5 million of that toward pitcher Wandy Rodriguez's salary.

The Pirates opened 2013 with an $80 million payroll -- $13.5 million of which came from the Astros and the New York Yankees, who kicked in money for A.J. Burnett -- and ended with a $74.6 million payroll, according to The Associated Press. …

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