Pirates Avoid Arbitration w/ Pitchers Morton, Hanrahan

Monday, the Pirates re-signed a few key cogs of the almost-not-that-terrible 2011 squad that spent a few romantic summer months parked at the top of the NL Central.

Starter Charlie Morton and closer Joel Hanrahan have been re-signed to one-year deals worth $2.445 million and $4.1 million, respectively.

From ESPN:

PITTSBURGH — All-Star closer Joel Hanrahan agreed Monday to a $4.1 million, one-year contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates, and right-hander Charlie Morton struck a one-year deal worth $2,445,000.

Hanrahan went 1-4 with a 1.83 ERA while saving 40 games for the Pirates in 2011, helping the team to a 15-game improvement over 2010. The 30-year-old right-hander made $1.4 million last season. Hanrahan posted that he “couldn’t be happier” on his Twitter feed.

In addition to his salary, he can earn $50,000 in performance bonuses based on games finished: $10,000 each for 40 and 45 and $15,000 apiece for 50 and 60.

Morton revitalized his career in 2011, going 10-10 with a 3.83 ERA though he tailed off late in the season. The 28-year-old, who made $441,000 last year, had hip surgery in October but is expected to be ready for opening day.

Both deals avoided salary arbitration. Outfielder Garrett Jones, pitchers Jeff Karstens and Evan Meek and third baseman Casey McGehee remain in arbitration with the Pirates.

These were good signings for the Pirates, but not spectacular. Morton made huge strides last season after earning near-historically bad numbers in 2010, and Hanrahan was the club’s lone all-star selection from a season ago.

The Pirates still have holes in the rotation and at the corners. Pedro Alvarez is no sure thing at third base and the Pirates have yet to replace or re-sign Derrek Lee at first.

The Pirates estimated opening day payroll for 2012 now sits at $46.372 million, but realistic signings like Lee or even Edwin Jackson still sit on the table.

Related posts:

  1. On Heels of Sweep, Charlie Morton Needs to be Stopper
  2. Pirates Pitchers Face Season’s Biggest Test Against Red Sox Bats
  3. Pittsburgh Pirates Extend Jose Tabata
  4. Morton Rebounds After Delays, Pirates Win 2-0
  5. Resilient Pirates a Cut Above Last Year’s Club

About James Conley

James is a graduate of Pitt with a degree in writing. He follows the Penguins and NHL semi-compulsively and is only moderately proficient with the English language. He is personally unpleasant. Berate him on Twitter @Slew_James