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Pirates have been trying to sign Starling Marte to an extension

Mar 22, 2014, 11:30 PM EDT

Starling Marte AP

Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review reports that the Pirates have been thus far unsuccessful in signing outfielder Starling Marte to a multi-year contract extension. According to reports, Marte turned down at least two offers. The two sides remain open to negotiations, however.

GM Neal Huntington explained the benefit of locking up players early:

“The (advantage) is the same as any multiyear extension,” Huntington said. “You’ve got a chance to set your costs, and it can help you build around that player who you think is going to be an integral part of your future. Because of the enormous risk that you’re taking, you’re looking to save a few dollars, either on the front side in the arbitration years or on the backside in free agent years.

“The player’s risk is he outperforms the contract. If he does that, he’s got a huge free-agent contract staring him in the face. The (possible) downside if he turns it down is he never gets another offer, so he never gets that money back.”

Marte, 25, still has two seasons to go until he is eligible for arbitration and will not hit free agency until after the 2018 season. In his first full year in the big leagues in 2013, Marte slashed .280/.343/.441 with 41 stolen bases. Along with above-average defense in the outfield, Marte ranked among the most valuable outfielders in baseball last season.

  1. barrystriceps - Mar 23, 2014 at 3:52 AM

    Make it happen! Good looking young player. Since the pirates barely spent any money this offending, at least shore up some of the young guys!

    • barrystriceps - Mar 23, 2014 at 3:53 AM

      *offseason thanks commando

  2. penguins87and71 - Mar 23, 2014 at 5:42 AM

    I would love to see them lock up Marte, but what I would like even more is if they locked up Alvarez.

  3. musketmaniac - Mar 23, 2014 at 5:43 PM

    if you ask me they good off season, signing Morton was very important, and not blowing money in one of the biggest player friendly off-season markets in years. They actually made really intelligent decision with some of these minor league deals. Decker, Dickerson, Martinez? look good for a fifth outfielder and AAA depth.

  4. thepittsburghkid - Mar 23, 2014 at 5:52 PM

    Alvarez will never resign. These are the kind of moves a small market team needs to make. The fan base won’t understand it because it’s not as flashy as signing a free agent, but it’s a necessity. I stand by my prediction that no matter the record, we will be buyers at the trade deadline and will resign that player once acquired.

  5. steelerfan9598 - Mar 23, 2014 at 9:10 PM

    Agree. Alvarez will be a Yankee or Met. They took the ‘Boras risk’ and drafted him. No way he stays in their price range.

  6. musketmaniac - Mar 23, 2014 at 9:47 PM

    yea, but they wont get his best years, And they’ll over pay for it.

  7. thepittsburghkid - Mar 24, 2014 at 8:47 AM

    I’m not sure of that, I think Alvarez will be the guy who comes into his own later. I think he is going to have a better/more consistent year. There is no denying it, the guys a beast, I hope he starts playing more consistently so we can get some serious talent in return when it comes time to trade him. How many guys get traded that have 40+ homerun ability? I think it would be a heavy hull in return.

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