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Pittsburgh Pirates Extend Josh Harrison’s Contract: Is Neil Walker Next?

The Pittsburgh Pirates perceived a outrageous boost to their lineup final deteriorate when Josh Harrison transposed a struggling Pedro Alvarez during third base.  

Harrison played in a career-high 143 games in 2014, finishing ninth in a National League Most Valuable Player voting after batting .315 with 13 home runs and 52 RBI.  He was also named to his initial All-Star group final season.  

After henceforth relocating Alvarez to initial bottom during a offseason to make room for Harrison each day during a prohibited corner, Bill Brink of a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is stating that a Pirates have sealed Harrison to a four-year understanding value $27.3 million in bottom salary.  It could be value adult to $50 million if all group options are exercised.  

The pierce comes usually dual days after Harrison non-stop adult his deteriorate by going 2-for-4 with a run scored in a Pirates’ Opening Day detriment to a Cincinnati Reds.  

Harrison is as versatile of a actor as they come, carrying played each position on a margin other than initial bottom and catcher during his career.  

Still usually 27 years old, a new understanding means Harrison will sojourn in Pittsburgh during his primary seasons.  It is usually another step ubiquitous manager Neal Huntington has done in his bid to indurate Pittsburgh’s lineup with cornerstone authorization players.  

The new understanding also means that a Pirates now have 3 essential descent players underneath agreement for years to come: Harrison, Andrew McCutchen (whose agreement expires in 2019) and Starling Marte (2022). 

But what about a man who is usually as critical to Pittsburgh’s descent production?  

Second baseman Neil Walker has turn a tack in a Pirates lineup.  The Pittsburgh local has entered his seventh vital joining deteriorate and is entrance off a 2014 deteriorate in that he won a Silver Slugger Award by batting .271 with a career-high 23 home runs and an on-base commission of .342.

The 29-year-old’s agreement is set to end after this season, when he will turn authorised for arbitration. He will turn a giveaway representative in 2017, though permitting Walker to even get to settlement would not be wise.  

Granted, Walker has not played in during slightest 150 games given 2011, when he batted .273 in 159 games for a Pirates.  However, his numbers have increasing usually over a final dual seasons while his strikeout totals have decreased.

Do not let Walker’s dual strikeouts on Opening Day dope you.  In 2,524 career at-bats, Walker has struck out protrusion 485 times, that is low for a cleanup hitter with power.     

Walker is so critical to a Pirates since he provides insurance as a cleanup hitter for No. 3 hitter McCutchen while also removing on bottom and permitting Marte or Alvarez to expostulate him home.

It would not be startling to see a Pirates offer Walker an prolongation someday during this season, as it is good deserved and would compensate dividends for Pittsburgh in a prolonged run.  

With Harrison sealed adult during third bottom and Korean star Jung Ho Kang on a arise and presumably prepared to take over a shortstop position in 2016 if Jordy Mercer does not improve, that means a Pirates will have dual pivotal infielders sealed adult for a subsequent 4 seasons.  

Now suppose that infield with Walker sealed in as Pittsburgh’s second baseman along with a probable agreement prolongation for Alvarez during initial or initial bottom awaiting Andrew Lambo.  

The Pirates have managed contracts really good over a final few seasons, that has led to a team’s new success.  If we were in Huntington’s shoes, we would not wish Walker to be an exception.  

 

Statistics pleasantness of Baseball-Reference.com.

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