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Pirates, Starling Marte agree to six-year contract extension

By Mike Axisa | Baseball Writer

Starling Marte has landed his first big payday.
Starling Marte has landed his first big payday. (USATSI)

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The Pirates have agreed to a six-year contract extension with outfielder Starling Marte, reports Jon Heyman of The deal, which is still pending a physical, includes two club options and is worth $31 million. Here is the salary breakdown:

2014: $500,000 salary plus $2 million signing bonus
2015: $1 million
2016: $3 million
2017: $5 million
2018: $7.5 million
2019: $10 million
2020: $12.5 million club option ($2 million buyout)
$13.5 million club option ($2 million buyout)

Marte, 25, hit .280/.343/.441 (122 OPS+) with 26 doubles, 10 triples, 12 home runs and 41 stolen bases in 135 games in 2013, his first full season as a big leaguer. He is also a top notch defender who is natural center fielder, but he moved to left in deference to reigning NL MVP Andrew McCutchen.

The six-year deal covers Marte's five remaining years of team control plus at least one free agent year. The club options would cover two more. The Pirates have signed both McCutchen ($51.5 million) and Jose Tabata ($15.5 million) to six-year contracts in recent years, so their outfield is locked up. Tabata could become trade bait with top prospect Gregory Polanco on the way.

Heyman recently reported the Pirates and Marte agreed to a one-year deal worth $512,600 covering the 2014 season, though that will be replaced by the new contract.

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