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Bucs Sign Wells

The Pirates have avoided arbitration with Kip Wells by signing him to a one-year deal worth $4.15 million plus incentives.

That seems a bit high, but here are the salaries of a number of statistically comparable players to Wells at various points in his career, during what would have been their last year before free agency:

Steve Trachsel, 1999: $5.25 million
Jason Schmidt, 2001: $3.2 million
Matt Clement, 2004: $6 million
Kris Benson, 2004: $6.15 million
Dustin Hermanson, 2002: $5.83 million
Mark Redman, 2005: $4.5 million

There are extinuating circumstances here, it's true: at least two of these guys (Benson and Redman) were signed to long-term deals during what would have been their last year of arbitration eligibility. Also, all these guys except for Schmidt were pitching better than Wells when they got the contract that would have covered their sixth year of service time. Still, this isn't a terrible deal for the Pirates.

DISCLAIMER: Arbitration timeclocks are very tricky things to figure out. If I messed up any one the ones above, please let me know in the comments and I'll fix it.