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Pirates avoid arbitration with Walker, McDonald

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PITTSBURGH (AP) - The Pittsburgh Pirates have agreed to one-year contracts with second baseman Neil Walker and pitcher James McDonald, avoiding salary arbitration with both players.

Walker gets $3.3 million and McDonald $3,025,000 in deals that were completed Thursday.

Walker hit .280 with 14 home runs and 69 RBIs in 129 games last season but missed significant time due to a back injury. The 27-year-old Pittsburgh native made $500,000 in 2012 and was arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter. He asked for $3.6 million and was offered $3 million by the Pirates.

The 28-year-old McDonald, who made $502,500 last year, went 12-8 with a 4.21 ERA but struggled for most of the second half. He requested $3.4 million in arbitration while Pittsburgh countered at $2.65 million.

McDonald is expected to be the team's third starter in 2013 behind A.J. Burnett and Wandy Rodriguez.

The deals mean the Pirates have reached agreement with all their arbitration-eligible players. Pitchers and catchers report to camp in Bradenton, Fla., on Feb. 11.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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