Pirates have tried to extend Starling Marte

The Pirates have tried at least twice to sign Starling Marte to an extension, but have been rejected each time. The news comes via Rob Biertempfel; I discuss the context of a Starling Marte extension here. It's great news that the Pirates are trying to sign Marte, who probably has a higher floor than the Bucs' other obvious extension candidates (Pedro Alvarez and Neil Walker), because he's younger and more athletic, and a better defensive player.

The problem is that the context for extensions is changing, thanks in part to all the big contracts the Braves handed out. Now you have Julio Teheran, a starting pitcher who so far in his career has been very good but hardly great, getting six years and $32.4 million. Marte and Teheran both have between one and two years of service time. It used to be that Denard Span's five-year, $16.5 million deal was the clear blueprint for a Marte extension, but I'm not sure that's the case anymore. If the Pirates were to sign Marte for five years, presumably with a team option or two, they would likely need to go north of $20 million guaranteed now. Which is a lot, since Marte isn't even arbitration-eligible for 2014 or 2015, but the Pirates still ought to pay it if it gives them the ability to keep Marte in Pittsburgh for another year or two.

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