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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