Pirates Sign Damaso Marte to Extension

This is odd. The Bucs have signed Damaso Marte to a two-year deal with an option for 2009. The deal replaces Marte's $3 million 2007 option, which the Pirates recently picked up. It also replaces the identical $3 million option and $250,000 buyout the Bucs had for Marte in 2008.

Financial terms haven't been announced yet, but in this market, it would be idiotic for Marte to sign for any less than $6 million, which is how much he would have cost the Pirates in 2007 and 2008 combined. Maybe Marte signed for less than $6 million in order to ensure that he'd be under contract (the Bucs had an option on him that year, but no obligation other than a $250,000 buyout), but the way things are going, he and his agent would have to be incredibly risk-averse to even consider that. So my guess is that Marte will get a slight raise over what he would have gotten in 2007 and 2008, and the Pirates are paying to control his rights in 2009. Given how variable reliever performance is from year to year, it seems like a very bad idea to gamble that Marte will still be a good pitcher in three years, so I can't imagine that this deal is going to make sense unless it somehow helps the Pirates to deal Marte. I'll post more on this once I learn what the financial terms are.

UPDATE: Thanks to WTM in the comments, who found this on Rotoworld. The contract is actually for only $4.7 million, plus a $250,000 buyout when the Bucs refuse his $6 million option for 2009. Now Marte only gets $2.45 million in 2007 and $2 million in 2008. Obviously, this is just a steal for the Pirates and, unless Marte isn't healthy or something, I have no idea why he and his agent would agree to this. I don't get to say this very often, but this is a great move by the Bucs.

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