Pittsburgh Pirates And Jared Hughes Avoid Arbitration


Breaking News: On Thursday night the Pittsburgh Pirates and right-handed pitcher Jared Hughes agreed to a 1-year contract in order to avoid salary arbitration.

Major League Baseball teams have until 1 PM Friday to come to contract agreements with their arbitration eligible players. Entering Friday the Pittsburgh Pirates had six such players. However, now they have just four.

This is due to right-handed pitcher Jared Hughes agreeing to a new 1-year contract on Friday night.  Hughes is now avoiding arbitration, moments after Drew Hutchison did the same.  The contract agreed upon between the two sides will pay Hughes 2.825 million dollars in 2017, according to Jon Heyman of fanragsports. This is 650,000 dollars more than he earned a year ago.

Hughes appeared in 67 games last season, posting a 3.03 ERA, but along with that came a 4.68 FIP, all in 59.1 innings, his lowest since 2013.

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Hughes had a strong 2014 and 2015 season. He threw 131.1 innings in 139 games for the Pirates in those years.  His ground ball rate of 64.1 percent was sixth highest in baseball of the 308 pitchers totaling at least 100 innings.

The former 2006 draft pick will once again be in the Pirates bullpen. At the moment puts him with Tony Watson, Felipe Rivero, Antonio Bastardo, Wade LeBlanc, Daniel Hudson, and Juan Nicasio.

Juan Nicasio is arbitration eligible still and will see a pay raise from his three million dollars from last year.  Of course, the Pirates will likely trade one of Watson and Bastardo, potentially both.  A couple of days ago, RumBunter was told:

"The Pirates want to deal one their lefties bad. Watson to Yankees, Rangers, Angels, Blue Jays, Mets all possible…. Bastardo is less likely to be moved. The Bucs like that some of his contract is being picked up and feel he is better suited for situations compared to Watson."

That likely puts a spot open to where Drew Hutchison will potentially end up, but the number five-spot is still up for competition.  Jared Hughes is still a low-cost relief pitcher that comes with a solid ground ball rate, and the bullpen looks like it will be good once again next year.

Next: Hutch and Bucs Avoid Arbitration

With LeBlanc, Hutch, and now Hughes all signed, the Pirates are left with Tony Watson, Nicasio, Gerrit Cole, and Jordy Mercer in the arbitration process.

*Numbers from fangraphs