Clayton Richard has declined his opt out clause, and will remain in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization.
“I’m still here,” Richard said with a laugh when asked about yesterday’s deadline. “We just thought it would be best to stay here and work some stuff out. I’ve had such a good experience with everyone here. We’re going in the right direction. It seems like the right move to stay here and keep on making that progress.”
It’s not a big surprise that Richard decided to stay in the organization. He signed with the Pirates after a conversation with former teammate Edinson Volquez, who saw the Pirates turn him around in 2014, and parlayed that into a two-year, $20 M deal in Kansas City. Richard’s situation is similar to Vance Worley, who went from being traded for cash considerations a year ago, to winning $2.45 M in his arbitration case with the Pirates this year.
Richard said that his experience in the organization and working with Ray Searage and Jim Benedict has been “terrific” and that he’s excited to continue his work. He will stay in extended Spring Training, where he will most likely get work with Jim Benedict, who lives in the Bradenton area. Benedict spent a lot of time last year working with Worley in extended Spring Training, before Worley made the jump to Triple-A.
Richard was not placed on the 40-man roster. As for whether he would have an opt out clause at a future date, Richard said that his agent and Neal Huntington were going to have a conversation about his deal, but that he didn’t know the details of that conversation.