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Jeff Karstens, Pirates Agree To $3.1 Million Deal, Avoid Arbitration

The Pirates have signed starting pitcher Jeff Karstens to a one-year deal worth $3.1 million, avoiding arbitration.

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Karstens was a very pleasant surprise last season, showing better command than he'd previously exhibited and giving up just two homers with men on base en route to a 3.38 ERA (with a 4.00 xFIP) in 162.1 innings. It remains to be seen if he can keep that up, and it's an interesting question, because he's arbitration-eligible again after the season, and players usually get raises in arbitration. If he goes back to being the fungible swingman-type pitcher he once was, this will probably be his last year in a Pirates uniform, because the Bucs won't want to pay him $4 million or so next year.

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The Pirates have three remaining arbitration-eligible players who have not yet signed contracts: infielder Casey McGehee, first baseman / outfielder Garrett Jones, and reliever Evan Meek.

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For more on the Pirates, check out Bucs Dugout.

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