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.
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