Pittsburgh Pirates Tender Contracts To Six Players
With the 8 PM deadline looming, the Pittsburgh Pirates tendered contracts to six different arbitration eligible players on Friday night.
After coming to terms with Wade LeBlanc earlier in the day, which you can read more about here, the Pittsburgh Pirates have tendered contracts to six other arbitration eligible players. However, this left two players out in the cold. These two players are Jeff Locke and Eric Fryer.
After being non-tendered, Jeff Locke and Eric Fryer are both now free agents. I do not expect the Pirates to seek a reunion with either. Furthermore, the fact they non-tendered Fryer tells me they are confident in the health of both Chris Stewart and Elias Diaz.
The six players the Pittsburgh Pirates tendered contracts to were Drew Hutchison, Gerrit Cole, Jared Hughes, Jordy Mercer, Juan Nicasio, and Tony Watson. None of these come as a surprise.
Even though none of these are a surprise, I was hoping the Pirates would non-tender Hughes. The right-handed relief pitcher is coming off of the worst season of his Major League career. Furthermore, even in many of his good seasons he out-pitched his peripherals. Due to these reasons, I was hoping he would not return in 2017.
For most of these players, their roles for 2017 are pretty set in stone. Gerrit Cole will, obviously, anchor the Pirates’ starting rotation. Jared Hughes, Juan Nicasio, and Tony Watson will all be in the bullpen in varying forms. And Jordy Mercer will be the team’s shortstop.
The one question mark is Drew Hutchison. I could see him opening the 2017 season as the Pittsburgh Pirates’ fifth starting pitcher. However, I could also see him in the Bucco bullpen. We will have to wait until the team report to Bradenton in February to find out.
At this point, it is not known if any of these players accepted the contracts they were tendered or not. If anyone did not, they will go to an arbitrator later in the offseason to decide their 2017 salaries.