Pirates, McCutchen talking multiyear extension
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DENVER -- The Pirates and center fielder Andrew McCutchen are discussing a long-term contract extension, but there is no sign that an agreement is imminent.
Team president Frank Coonelly declined comment Sunday, and McCutchen declined to divulge details, but he did express a strong desire to stay with the team that drafted him.
"I'm willing to be here for my whole career," McCutchen said Sunday at Coors Field. "I really love it in Pittsburgh. I love playing there. I love the city. I love how things are starting to turn around for us. That's one of the things I feel that they know, and they have the same feeling I do. We're very open to working something out, but we just want to make sure it's something we want. That's basically what we're looking at right now."
The most likely type of extension would be one that carries McCutchen through next season, plus his three arbitration years. He still would be eligible for free agency in 2016, based on his current status.
A team can benefit from such an arrangement by having cost certainty through the arbitration years, even if the player's performance rises dramatically. The player benefits by having guaranteed money.
It was not clear when the sides began negotiating.
McCutchen's salary is $452,500, but that means little toward this process. Teams can assign any salary they wish to a player in his first three years in the majors above the minimum $414,500.
McCutchen said he and his agent, Steve Hammond, hope to see the contract reflect potential future performance.
"That's something the Pirates want to see from me, too, the consistency," McCutchen said. "And I think they have a good outlook of the type of player I am and the type of player I can be."
McCutchen, 24, was named the major league rookie of the year in 2009 by Baseball America. He has a .280 career average, .362 on-base percentage, 33 home runs, 122 RBIs and 58 steals in 288 games.
He is off to a .225 start this season, but he went 5 for 13 with two home runs and a walk in the series here this weekend against the Colorado Rockies.
"I'm starting to feel a lot better at the plate," McCutchen said. "It's coming."
First Published May 2, 2011 12:00 am