Pirates Trying To Extend Starling Marte

MONDAY: At least one of the offers that Marte rejected was for six years, reports Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. That contract would have covered the 2015-2020 seasons, buying out two of Marte's free agent years.

SATURDAY: The Pirates are trying to sign outfielder Starling Marte to an extension, but he has declined at least two offers so far, Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review writes. Nonetheless, Marte remains open to an extension.

Marte, who has one year and 70 days of service time, is currently eligible for arbitration following the 2015 season and eligible for free agency after 2018. He hit .280/.343/.441 while playing excellent defense in left field in his first full season in 2013. He received a bonus of just $85K upon signing as an amateur and has made salaries near the league minimum since being promoted. He is represented by the Legacy Agency.

The Pirates already have two outfielders, Andrew McCutchen and Jose Tabata, signed to long-term deals, but Tabata could be a trade candidate and may move to a bench role when the Pirates promote top prospect Gregory Polanco. According to MLBTR's Extension Tracker, Tabata is the most recent outfielder with between one and two years of service time to sign an extension, but Marte is the better player, and Tabata's six-year, $15MM contract was seen as extremely team-friendly from the day it was signed.

In a post from last May examining the possibility of an extension for Marte, we named Denard Span's five-year, $16.5MM deal as a possible precedent for a Marte extension, suggesting that a Marte extension beginning in 2014 might be a bit bigger than that. Based on changes in the extension market since then, though, a Marte extension would probably have to be bigger still. Recent contracts such as that of Julio Teheran (six years, $32.4MM), for example, have changed the market. Like Marte, Teheran had between one and two years of service at the time of his deal.


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20 Comments on "Pirates Trying To Extend Starling Marte"


Tigers72
1 year 5 months ago

6 years 28 million?

GrilledCheese39
1 year 5 months ago

I say 7 years 40 million. 1 million next year (really a pre arbitration year), 4 million the next year, 5 million in 2017, 6 million in 2018, 7 million in 2019, 8 million in 2020, and 9 million in 2021. With possible vesting/club option(s) for 10 million or so. I really think Marte is a special player. If he blossoms into almost a McCutchen type player, and in this market, that would be a steal. Get this done and focus on Alvarez. Not concerned with Walker, take it year by year, honestly don’t see him ever leaving his home town. Also think Liriano and Martin should/could be extended past this year.

Nathan Boley
1 year 5 months ago

I think Marte and Pedro have to be extended. They are both essential to this ballclub and we have no replacements ready for either of them. I know we have plenty of OF prospects, but Marte has higher ceilings than pretty much all of them and has already proven to be a potentially explosive player.

I don’t think Liriano will stay in Pittsburgh, nor do I think the Pirates will try too hard to retain him. We caught him at his prime and we don’t have the resources to sign him to a big deal then watch as he regresses back to his pre-2013 form. He will likely be more expensive than anyone else too.

Martin, I’m 50/50 on. I’d really like to see Sanchez (or, perhaps down the road, McGuire) get a shot at the starting job, but Martin’s arguably the second most valuable player on the team after Cutch. I don’t know how we could just let him walk.

Marte definitely needs an extension though. He’s essential, but he and Pedro.

bucs_lose_again
1 year 5 months ago

Nothing about his minor-league numbers suggest he could be a “McCutchen type player.” His aversion towards walks will eventually expose him if he doesn’t change his approach. Nevertheless, the defense, power, and base running will keep us afloat for the time being.

bucsws2014
1 year 5 months ago

I do not see Marte ever being an All-Star. He’s great defensively, but not a leadoff hitter because of his aversion to walks. He’s not even a #2 hitter. Probably a 6/7, but even then he needs to further develop his power. In a DH league he’d probably be 9, maybe 8. I wouldn’t go crazy with any offer. I’m also worried about the frequency in which he gets hit on his hands and the injury time/toll that takes.

Cutch is here until 2018. Polanco till at least 2020 w/o a probable extension. Meadows likely comes up in 2017. Bell can play 1b/OF starting in 2016/7. I don’t sense urgency to get an extension done. I’d wait to see if Marte improves his offense and take the risk that any extension might be more expensive.

Alvarez will walk no matter what due to Boras.

GrilledCheese39
1 year 5 months ago

I’m kind of interested to see where everyone ends up. Everyone should be up by opening day 2017. I see Marte/McCutchen/Polanco as the OF, Hopefully Alvarez and Walker will be around. Hanson at SS, McGuire at C, and Meadows or Bell at 1B. As much as I’d hate it…. DH could be in the national league by then opening up a spot for both Bell and Meadows.

Frank Kuchno
1 year 5 months ago

Marte’s OBP last season…..as a 24 year old…..was .343.
And is likely to rise with experience.
MLB average for lead-off men is .360.
Not a huge variant.

bucsws2014
1 year 5 months ago

Based on getting hit by 24 pitches – the result of which was he missed time. Knock that down to a more reasonable 10-12 HBP per season and take another look at how unimpressive that OBP becomes.

Johnny Delancey
1 year 5 months ago

Wow, you guys have some serious negativity issues. “Marte’s aversion to walks” is something that could improve, as he career continues. Vladimir Guerrero made a career with an aversion to walks, making many allstar games and possibly being a hall of famer.

bucsws2014
1 year 5 months ago

Anything’s possible. But “possible” doesn’t mean he should get an expensive extension at this point.

pgh412
1 year 5 months ago

He’s gonna ask for more than 5/16.5. He’s gonna want more than Tabata, as well. I’d say 6 years and around 35 million.

Lee Foo Young
1 year 5 months ago

Makes you wanna be a fly on the wall and see what Marte wants and the Bucs are offering.

Cutch is EXTREMELY underpaid, so the Bucs may not want to exceed his contract.

Federal League
1 year 5 months ago

I don’t really see the sense in locking him up right now. He’s a high strikeout, low walk hitter with average power and very good speed. They’ve already got him under contract through his 20s.

Tintin
1 year 5 months ago

Also, note that Marte originally signed for 85,000 so he’s not “set for life” like a lot of baseball players. The Pirates are probably offering him something in the 8 year 40 million range. This gives him financial security and hopefully the Pirates a 4.5 of for 8 years.
I agree that Marte is not an All star type OF, but he plays plus CF defense and is a good enough hitter. Short of injury, this would be a great deal for both sides.

Hills of Glenallen
1 year 5 months ago

Doesn’t he play LF?

Tintin
1 year 5 months ago

Yes, but he could play CF on 25 of the 30 teams in baseball. Playing LF at PNC is like playing CF at most stadiums in MLB.
Polanco, who should be called up in June to play RF, is also a CF. If all goes well, not a lot of balls will hit the ground for the Pirates over the next 4 years.

Hills of Glenallen
1 year 5 months ago

So just say he plays plus-plus LF when you’re trying to make a point….

Monsoon Harvard
Monsoon Harvard
1 year 5 months ago

Marte is not really a lead-off hitter, it’s just where the Pirates need him in their lineup.
Marte is a run producer and should be swinging the bat, not trying to get on base by walking.
He will be star if he isnt already, but I’d say he is now. And he will get better.
The guy can rake and his overall skills are impressive all the way around.

Johnny Delancey
1 year 5 months ago

Starling Marte was not raking the minute he hit the bigs? perhaps you forget what he did in his first at bat? I am not saying Marte is Vlad, but he is a similar case on a different scale.

Spit Ball
1 year 5 months ago

My other comment was deleted and that’s fair. Yes Marte hit well. I’ll be fair, Marte is a more graceful athlete and better overall defender than Vlad was. I was mainly suggesting you compare K/BB ratio’s between the two. The other thing I was saying was that Vlad did things on a baseball field no one else has done. Line drive throws from the warning track to home. Hitting balls out of the yard on the bounce. He always walked more than Marte and struck out WAY less. Look Marte may be worth the extension, I just do not think Vlad is the right comparison.