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Pirates' Neil Walker Discussing Contract, Along With Jose Tabata; What About Andrew McCutchen?

Jenifer Langosch writes that not only are the Pirates close to signing outfielder Jose Tabata to a contract extension, but they’re also talking about a new contract with second baseman Neil Walker.

Tabata’s deal would likely be for six years, and might also include club options. The contract would give the Pirates a chance to buy most of Tabata’s peak seasons at what would be a bargain rate if he turns out to be a consistently above-average player.

Walker’s contract is likely to come after Tabata’s, and I can’t find anyone saying that Walker is ready to sign, but if the Pirates want to do this, I can’t believe it won’t get done. Walker is from Pittsburgh and loves playing in town, and I doubt he’ll drive a hard bargain.

Both these deals might help convince Andrew McCutchen to stay long-term. The Pirates haven’t been able to sign McCutchen so far, but that might change if they’re able to convince him they’re committed to the franchise in the long term.

For more on the Pirates, check out Bucs Dugout.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.