The Pirates are next in our arbitration eligibles series.
- First time: Evan Meek, Garrett Jones, Charlie Morton, Chris Resop, Steven Pearce, Brandon Wood
- Second time: Ross Ohlendorf, Joel Hanrahan, Jeff Karstens, Jose Veras
- Third time: Jason Grilli
While the Pirates have a large quantity of arbitration eligible players (11), no one projects to make even $4MM in 2012. Pearce, Wood, and Ohlendorf may be on the non-tender bubble. Pearce and Wood would barely make more than the league minimum, though Ohlendorf would likely stay around $2MM. Jones remains useful against right-handed pitching and I think that justifies a potential $2.4MM salary.
Relievers Meek, Resop, Veras, Grilli, and Hanrahan figure to be tendered contracts. Each should fall between $800K and $1.5MM, with the exception of Hanrahan, whose saves should propel him to $3.9MM. Starters Morton ($2.2MM) and Karstens ($2.8MM) will remain affordable as well.
If Meek, Jones, Morton, Resop, Hanrahan, Karstens, Veras, and Grilli are retained, the total could be around $16MM. Assuming Ronny Cedeno's option is declined, the Pirates will have around $26MM committed next year before accounting for minimum salary players. With payroll expected to rise from this year's $42MM Opening Day figure, the Bucs could have a good $20MM in 2012 flexibility.