Pittsburgh Pirates 2014-15 Off-Season Contract Situations

The MLB off-season is full of potential moves, whether those moves are free agency, option years, arbitration eligible players, or non-tender candidates. Earlier this week I looked at 14 of the biggest questions for the Pirates this off-season, which detailed a lot of the potential transactions. Below is a list of players who are eligible for off-season transactions, along with some important dates for those transactions.

Pending Free Agents

5th Day After the World Series – MLB Players become eligible for free agency

Russell Martin

Francisco Liriano

Edinson Volquez

Clint Barmes

The Pirates will go after Russell Martin, although it might be difficult to bring him back. I don’t know if they will pursue Liriano, but I do think they should give him a qualifying offer. I also wouldn’t rule out Volquez or Barmes for returns.

Arbitration Eligible

December 2nd – Deadline to tender arbitration

Neil Walker – 3rd out of 4 years

Ike Davis – 3rd out of 4 years

John Axford** – 3rd out of 4 years

Gaby Sanchez – 3rd out of 3 years

Pedro Alvarez – 2nd out of 3 years

Travis Snider – 2nd out of 3 years

Mark Melancon – 2nd out of 3 years

Chris Stewart – 2nd out of 3 years

Tony Watson – 1st out of 3 years

Josh Harrison – 1st out of 3 years

Jeanmar Gomez** – 1st out of 3 years

Vance Worley* – 1st out of 4 years

Jared Hughes* – 1st out of 4 years

*Likely Super Two Eligible

**Non-Tender Candidate

The Pirates have a lot of arbitration eligible players this year. I was conservative with the non-tender estimates. I only went with Axford and Gomez, mostly because they both had issues this year, and were both left off the Wild Card roster. I don’t think the Pirates will keep both Pedro Alvarez and Ike Davis, although I don’t think they’d non-tender either player, since one of them could be traded. Gaby Sanchez is an interesting situation, since he’s now getting a bit on the expensive side for a right-hander in a platoon. I think Chris Stewart’s situation will largely depend on what happens with Russell Martin.

Beyond that, there are some interesting arbitration cases, such as the first year for Josh Harrison, the price for Travis Snider after what could have been a mini-breakout in the second half, and what Neil Walker will receive coming off a career year offensively, with declining defense.

Under Contract

Andrew McCutchen – $10,000,000

Charlie Morton – $8,000,000

Jose Tabata – $4,000,000

Starling Marte – $1,000,000

Out of Options

Charlie Morton

Pedro Alvarez

Ike Davis

Mark Melancon

Travis Snider

Chris Stewart

Vance Worley

Jared Hughes

Stolmy Pimentel

Jeanmar Gomez

John Axford

Brent Morel

Chaz Roe

The lack of options could impact the roster chances for Stolmy Pimentel, Jeanmar Gomez, John Axford, Brent Morel, and Chaz Roe. I think the others will make the Opening Day roster, despite their lack of options.

Analysis

  • I’d agree on Gaby needing to be cut loose. It’s just not that he’s a platoon player with increasing salary arbitration – but he’s was pretty much non-productive at the plate in 2014.

    • I like the idea of considering Tony Sanchez for the RH side of 1B platoon and non-tendering Gaby Sanchez. His bat plays vs. lefties and he’s more useful offering an additional option behind the plate. That also allows more AAA time behind the plate for Elias Diaz. Some of this would depend on Russ Martin situation, but I like it even more if Martin stays.

      This would also allow the Pirates to keep Alvarez and Davis, with Alvarez still possibly in play for 3B. Split Harrison between 3B and 2B and pickup another IF (or maybe even bring Barmes back for D)
      Davis and Alvarez are both going on age 28 seasons. G Sanchez will hit 31 towards end of seaon.

  • Arik Florimonte
    October 7, 2014 2:22 pm

    Gabby and Ike were a terrible combination last year. They were combined -0.8 WAR last year, split evenly at -0.4 apiece. Time to let go of that one and go a different direction.

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