Oct 9, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez (24) reacts after he strikes out to end game five of the National League divisional series playoff baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium. The Cardinals won 6-1. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Pittsburgh Pirates Sign Pedro Alvarez, Neil Walker, Mark Melancon To Avoid Arbitration

Pittsburgh Pirates general manager Neal Huntington has been very busy over the past 24 hours, coming to terms on deals with all six of his arbitration-eligible players.

Sep 20, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates relief pitcher Mark Melancon (35) delivers a pitch against the Cincinnati Reds during the ninth inning at PNC Park. The Cincinnati Reds won 6-5 in ten innings. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

After inking both right fielder Travis Snider and first baseman Gaby Sanchez to one-year deals, Huntington did the same with third baseman Pedro Alvarez, second baseman Neil Walker and relievers Mark Melancon and Vin Mazzaro on Friday.

Alvarez is coming off a huge 2013 season in which he hit a career-high 36 homers and accounted for 100 RBI. He carried that power into the postseason where he helped sustain the Pirates offense against St. Louis in the National League Division Series.

After earning $700,000 last season, “El Toro” will make $4.25 million this year.

Melancon was an absolute rock in the Pirates bullpen last year after coming over from the Boston Red Sox in the Joel Hanrahan trade.

All the 28-year-old Melancon did was post a 1.39 ERA in 71 innings pitched out of the Pirates bullpen. His 2014 salary will be for $2.595 million, after making $525,000 last season.

Finally there is Walker, who hit .251 with 16 homers and 53 RBI last season.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Rob Biertempfel has reported that Walker will get a raise from $3.3 million in 2013 to $5.75 million next season.

According to the Pirates, Mazzaro has been signed, too, although his salary figure has not yet been disclosed.

Teams and players had until 1 p.m. Friday to exchange salary proposals as the latest step in the arbitration process. Hearings are scheduled to begin Feb. 1, but the Pirates will not be involved in any for the second straight year.

In 2012, the Bucs won their arbitration case against Garrett Jones, the last battle they engaged in with a returning player.

Tags: Mark Melancon Neil Walker Pedro Alvarez Pittsburgh Pirates

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