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Pirates reportedly plan to extend qualifying offer to Russell Martin

Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

According to Jon Heyman, the Pirates intend to extend a qualifying offer to Russell Martin.  The amount for such offers this year is $15.3 million (up from $14.1 million last year), although there's no realistic chance that Martin will accept.  As has been extensively discussed, Martin is coming off a huge season, posting an OPS+ of 136, easily besting his previous high of 116, and continuing to display the elite defense he's shown throughout his two years with the Pirates.  Extending the offer is one of the biggest no-brainers of recent times, but it's nice to have some unofficial confirmation.

Curiously absent was any mention of Francisco Liriano.  Personally, I think it's unlikely the Pirates will extend a qualifying offer to him.  The team's front office has apparently shown some willingness to rethink their limitations on spending beyond a certain amount of their payroll on one player, but only in connection with Martin.