The Pittsburgh Pirates locked up Charlie Morton and newlywed Joel Hanrahan to one-year deals thus avoiding arbitration.
Hanrahan, the 30-year old Pirates closer, will make $4.1 million in his second year of arbitration. He made $1.4 million on his 2011 contract when he was an NL All-Star, finishing with 40 saves. If he can hit additional performance incentives in his contract, he could make an additional $50,000.
Morton, the “feel good story” of 2011, signed a deal worth nearly $2.5 million. Not bad for a 28-year old pitcher that many people had given up for dead heading into the 2011 season.
Both pitchers are examples of trades that have turned out in favor of the Pirates. Hanrahan came over from the Nationals with Lastings Milledge when the Bucs sent lefty Sean Burnett and Nyjer Morgan to the nation’s capital. Morton was stolen from the Braves with lefty Jeff Locke and outfielder Gorkys Hernandez when the Bucs sent Nate McLouth south back in the 2009 season.
The big questions this season for the Bucs are whether Hanrahan will continue to be the dominant closer and can Morton return from a torn labrum in his left hip to be the solid ground ball pitcher that excelled through the first three months of the season.
Four players still need to get deals done. Garrett “Manchild” Jones and Casey McGehee are believed to be the Buccos first base tandem, and each are up for arbitration along with two right handed pitchers, Jeff Karstens and Evan Meek.