2012 Contract Issues Rumors

2012 Contract Issues: Pittsburgh Pirates

The 2012 Contract Issues series kicks off with a look at the Pirates.

Eligible For Free Agency (1)

  • First baseman Lyle Overbay is the one Pirates player who is eligible for free agency after the season with no strings attached.
  • GM Neal Huntington is also signed through 2011.  Team president Frank Coonelly told Rob Biertempfel in February, "He is under contract for this season and it’s our expectation that Neal will be here for a long time.  He has hot been extended at this point. We’ll continue to evaluate it as we move forward."

Contract Options (5)

  • Chris Snyder: $6.75MM club option with a $750K buyout.  It's difficult to picture Snyder being retained at a $6MM net price.
  • Paul Maholm: $9.75MM club option with a $750K buyout.  Maholm is a prime summer trade candidate, but his option will probably be declined.
  • Ryan Doumit: $7.25MM club option for '12, $8.25MM club option with '13, $500K buyout.  Another trade candidate, Doumit's options figure to be declined.
  • Ronny Cedeno: $3MM club option with a $200K buyout.  Though the price is reasonable, I can see the Pirates declining and trying someone else at shortstop next year.
  • Scott Olsen: $4MM club option with a $100K buyout.  Olsen appears headed to the bullpen once he recovers from a hamstring injury.  This option is unlikely to be exercised.  If it's declined, the Pirates must then decide whether to tender him a contract.

Arbitration Eligible (12)

Not all of these players will make it to arbitration, as some could fail to accrue the necessary service time and others will be non-tendered in December or cut loose beforehand.  Using CAA's Super Two cutoff projection of 2.146 years of service, Andrew McCutchen's first big payday won't come until 2013.

2012 Payroll Obligation

Cot's Baseball Contracts sets the Pirates' 2012 payroll obligation at just $10.625MM, with Kevin Correia accounting for more than a third of that.  You can pencil in another $4MM or so for Hanrahan and Meek.  If the Pirates want to be around $40MM again they should have about $25MM to play with.