Pirates sign Walker, McDonald

Neil Walker

The Pittsburgh Pirates have avoided arbitration with second baseman Neil Walker and pitcher James McDonald after agreeing to one-year contracts with each player.

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

Walker was arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter as a Super Two player after batting .280/.342/.426 with 14 home runs, 69 RBI and a .768 OPS last season. The 27-year-old requested $3.6 million and was offered $3 million by the Pirates when arbitration figures were exchanged earlier this month.

McDonald was also arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter, though not as a Super Two. The 28-year-old right-hander is coming off an up-and-down campaign in which he posted a 4.21 ERA and 151/69 K/BB ratio over 171 innings. He requested $3.4 million and was offered $2.65 million from the Pirates when arbitration figures were swapped this month.

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.

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