The Pirates and shortstop Jordy Mercer have discussed a contract extension, though an agreement isn’t imminent, as Rum Bunter first reported and Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review confirmed. The two sides have had “a little, but not a lot of talk,” a source told Biertempfel.
Mercer, a client of the Legacy Agency, is coming off a season in which he tied a career high in games played (149) and logged a personal-best 584 plate appearances. The 30-year-old wasn’t particularly effective, though, having hit a modest .256/.328/.374 (closely in line with his .257/.313/.377 lifetime mark) with 11 home runs and one stolen base. Mercer also didn’t rate well in the field, which was abnormal relative to the previous two years, as he finished toward the bottom of the majors at his position in Defensive Runs Saved (minus-9) and Ultimate Zone Rating (minus-8.4).
Mercer, who’s under control through the 2018 campaign, is scheduled to make his second trip through arbitration later this winter. MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz projects a $4MM arbitration award for Mercer, but it might not come to that. Pittsburgh doled out three extensions to regulars last year and could hand Mercer what should be an inexpensive deal early in 2017.