Pittsburgh Pirates tender contracts to four players

PITTSBURGH, PA - AUGUST 21: Gerrit Cole /

In a move that was not surprising at all, the Pittsburgh Pirates have tendered a contract to each of their four arbitration eligible players.

On Friday, the Pittsburgh Pirates officially tendered a contract to each of their four arbitration eligible players. These four players are Felipe Rivero, George Kontos, Gerrit Cole, and Jordy Mercer.

Unlike most years the Pittsburgh Pirates did not have any non-tender candidates this offseason as all four of these players were slam dunks to be tendered a contract.

George Kontos and Felipe Rivero are key members of the Pirate bullpen.

After being claimed off irrevocable waivers from the Giants last August, Kontos was one of the Pirates’ best relievers. In 14 2/3 innings pitched with the Pirates Kontos allowed nine hits, three walks, one home run, and he struck out 15. He owned a 1.84 ERA and a 2.61 FIP.

As for Felipe Rivero, he has turned into arguably the best left-handed reliever in baseball. Rivero owned a 1.67 ERA, a 2.47 FIP, 2.1 fWAR, and he struck out 88 batters in 75 1/3 innings pitched. He walked 20 batters, allowed 47 hits, and he owned a 52.9 percent groundball rate.

Gerrit Cole is coming off an interesting season. His 33 starts were a career-high, his 203 innings pitched were the second most of his career, and both ranked in the top ten in the National League. He owned a healthy 8.69 K/9 and his 2.44 BB/9 was seventh best in the National League.

However, he struggled with the long ball allowing 31 home runs which was tied for the second most in the National League. This came after allowing just 36 home runs the first four seasons of his career. Problems with the long ball led to Cole owning a career-worst 4.26 ERA and a 4.08 FIP in 2017.

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Jordy Mercer is coming off his fourth season as the team’s starting shortstop. He posted a .308 wOBA, an 88 wRC+, and a 1.4 fWAR. 2018 is Mercer’s final season of arbitration and he is set to hit free agency at the end of the 2018 season.