FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Another key player has forfeited free agency to remain with the Pirates.
Reliever Salomon Torres yesterday agreed to terms with the team on a two-year contract extension worth $6.5 million that will keep him in Pittsburgh through 2008. He already had been signed through this season, but he would have been first-time eligible for free agency afterward.
"This is where I want to be," Torres said. "This is where I belong."
The deal will be signed after he passes a physical.
Torres, 34, returned to baseball after a three-year hiatus to sign with the Pirates as a minor-league free agent in early 2002. He made the major-league team later that year and has become an important contributor to the bullpen.
Over the past two seasons, he has appeared in 84 and 78 games and has produced ERAs of 2.64 and 2.76. He started slowly last season, partly because of a nagging neck ailment, but his second half -- two earned runs in his final 31 appearances -- was as good as any in the game.
Torres' signing was the Pirates' third multiyear extension of the offseason. The team also signed outfielder Jason Bay to a four-year, $18.25 million extension and shortstop Jack Wilson to a three-year, $20.1 million.
Torres' current contract was in its second and final year. His salary for the coming season is $1.425 million, plus $100,000 from a prorated signing bonus.
Dejan Kovacevic can be reached at email@example.com or 412-263-1938.