Details of Andrew McCutchen’s $51.5 million extension

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Late last night Andrew McCutchen and the Pirates announced a six-year, $51.5 million contract extension and now Michael Sanserino of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette has the year-by-year breakdown:

2012: $0.5 million, plus $1.25 million signing bonus
2013: $4.5 million
2014: $7.25 million
2015: $10 million
2016: $13 million
2017: $14 million
2018: $14.75 million option or $1 million buyout

The extension pre-pays for McCutchen’s three arbitration-eligible seasons and buys out his first two years of free agency while giving the Pirates a $14.75 million option for his third year of free agency in 2018, when he’ll be 31 years old. If McCutchen stays healthy and his production doesn’t decline the Pirates will end up with quite a bargain, but snagging $51.5 million in guaranteed money at age 24 is pretty tough to turn down when he’s made “only” $1 million or so thus far.

As our own Matthew Pouliot pointed out last night McCutchen’s six-year deal is nearly identical to six-year deals signed previously by Jay Bruce and Justin Upton, and all three outfielders were first-round picks in the 2005 draft.

Yankees to hire Josh Bard as their new bench coach

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Aaron Boone has no experience as a coach or a manager at any level. As such, some have speculated that he’d hire a more seasoned hand as his bench coach as he begins his first season as Yankees manager. Someone like, say, Eric Wedge, who was a candidate for the job Boone got and who once managed Boone in Cleveland.

Nope. According to MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand, he’s going with Josh Bard.

Bard, 39, was a teammate of Boone’s with the Indians in 2005. He’s not without coaching experience, having spent the last two seasons as the Dodgers’ bullpen coach, but he’s not that Gene Lamont/Don Zimmer-type we often see in the bench coach role.

Which is fine because different managers want different things from their bench coach. Some are strategy guys, helping with in-game decision making. Others are relationship guys who help managers understand all of the dynamics of the clubhouse while they’re worrying more about lineups and stuff. Others are trust guys, who can serve as the manager’s sounding board, among other things. Some are combinations of all of these things. As Feinsand notes in his story, Boone said at his introductory press conference that he’s looking for this:

“I want smart sitting next to me. I want confidence sitting next to me. I want a guy who can walk out into that room and as I talk about relationships I expect to have with my players, I expect that even to be more so with my coaching staff. Whether that is a guy with all kinds of experience or little experience. I am not concerned about that.”