The Pirates expect to “explore multiyear deals” with certain of the team’s early-career MLB players, according to Jon Heyman of MLB Network (via Twitter). The likelihood of agreement isn’t clear.
Recent reporting indicated that teams around the league are pursuing quite a few deals of this kind. It’s not surprising to see the Bucs participating in that effort. Early-career extensions have long been a key part of the team’s strategy. And while the team is in flux from a competitive standpoint, all teams are interested in scenarios that increase the value of their existing control rights over players.
Heyman lists several potential candidates, though it’s not clear which have actually been targeted by the Pittsburgh organization. Outfielder Bryan Reynolds, middle infielder Kevin Newman, and starter Joe Musgrove are all tabbed as possibilities — just the trio you’d likely have thought of.
Reynolds hasn’t even cracked a full year of service, but is coming off of an extremely impressive 2019 debut that might’ve earned him a Rookie of the Year award in some seasons. Newman is still two full seasons away from arbitration. He also put up a strong effort last year, slashing .308/.353/.446 in his first full season in the bigs.
It’s a bit of a different situation for Musgrove, who is already into arbitration eligibility at 27 years of age. He’s slated to earn $2.8MM for the coming season, so he has already locked in significant earnings. Musgrove has been a solid rotation piece since coming over before the 2018 season, compiling 285 2/3 total innings of 4.28 ERA ball.