The Pirates made their first extension of the core group of players that have been on the field for much of last season and much of this season when they extended outfielder Jose Tabata thought the 2016 season with team options for the 2017, 2018 and 2019 seasons per Enrique Rojas at ESPN.com.
The extension will pay Tabata just under $15 million though 2016 with the breakdown as follows:
2011: $500,000 ($1 million signing bonus)
2013: $1 million
2014: $3 million
2015: $4 million
2016: $4.5 million
The option numbers for 2017-2019 are team options and the rumor is that the deal would be worth a total of $37.25 million from 2011 though the 2019 season.
This is the first Pirates player to get extended and word is that the Pirates are in talks with Neil Walker about extending him. The Pirates have had ongoing talks with Andrew McCutchen but those talks are like a high school relationship, hot and cold, on and off.
To clarify this a little bit part of the extention for Tabata is this season which gives him a marginal increase in pay plus gives him a $1 million signing bonus.
Most of you probably know that I am a huge Jose Tabata fan and going into it I was pretty excited even before I knew the numbers. After I found out the numbers I am really excited. Tabata gave the Pirates a pretty sweet deal, espeically with how the market has consumed baseball. To put this in some perspective Matt Diaz is making $5 million this season and next season, Tabata is making $4.5 million in the year 2016.
This is also nice for the Pirates front office becuase it gives them an idea of some true fixed costs for the future. Before today they had nobody signed up for the long term and with how young most of the players are they have not hit arbitration yet and thus the team has no idea what they are going to be paying for these players in the future.
Nobody really knows how arbitration is going to go. The Pirates could have rode it out with their players and not paid extentions to any of them but all it takes is one weird arbitration year to put the team in a bad situation. This is a nice step for the franchise to get Tabata wrapped up in such a good deal and to also be close with Neil Walker.
Could Tabata not live up to the abilities that we all hope for? Sure. Could he outperform his contract? Sure. It will be interesting to see how it plays out but this is a really team friendly deal for the Pirates. Matt Bandi from Pirates Prospects put it best when he tweeted out "Pirates fans should be huge Jose Tabata fans right now. He just showed that he wants to be here for life and could give a crap about money."
He is right. Tabata is a huge Clemente fan and really seems like he enjoys being in the city and playing on the team and it is good to see him make that commitment to the Pirates.