The Pittsburgh Pirates and right-handed pitcher Robert Stephenson have avoided arbitration by settling on a $1.75M salary according to Jason Mackey. He’s the second player to settle today, with JT Brubaker being announced earlier.
Source: Robert Stephenson and Pirates avoid arbitration and settle for $1.75 million.
— Jason Mackey (@JMackeyPG) January 13, 2023
Stephenson is in his last year before free agency. He spent most of 2022 with the Colorado Rockies, where he had a 6.04 ERA and a 1.48 WHIP, with 37 strikeouts in 44.2 innings. He came to the Pirates via waivers on August 27th, then improved great over his six weeks before the season ended. In 13 relief appearances, he had a 3.38 ERA in 13.1 innings, with 18 strikeouts and an 0.83 WHIP. He turns 30 years old in February.
Today is the deadline for players and teams to agree on salaries for the 2023 season ahead of the arbitration process beginning. The Pirates still have Duane Underwood Jr, Mitch Keller and Ji-Man Choi on their list of arbitration eligible players without agreements yet.
The Pirates are one of many “file and trial” teams, so if players don’t agree to deals ahead of the deadline, they will have an arbitration meeting to settle the salary.
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.