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Pirates non-tender slugger Pedro Alvarez

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Let’s cap off a busy Wednesday of transactions with perhaps the most surprising non-tender of all.

Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that the Pirates have parted ways with first baseman Pedro Alvarez, who was due a raise in his final year of arbitration from the $5.75 million he made in 2015. He is officially a free agent, eligible to sign with any team.

Alvarez can be a frustrating regular — he strikes out a ton and struggles mightily against left-handers — but the 28-year-old Dominican slugger has averaged 28 home runs and 80 RBI per season since 2012.

American League teams should be rushing in with offers to make him their DH.

Pittsburgh also non-tendered outfielder Jaff Decker on Wednesday.

Report: Nationals sign Matt Adams

Matt Adams
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Free agent first baseman Matt Adams has signed a one-year, $3 million pact with the Nationals, the Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports. The contract comes with a $1 million buyout on a 2020 option, bringing the total value to $4 million. Official confirmation is still pending completion of a physical.

The 30-year-old infielder will return to familiar turf in Washington after spending the first half of the 2018 season there. He was dealt to the Cardinals in late August for cash considerations and finished the season batting a collective .239/.309/.477 with a career-high 21 home runs, .786 OPS and 0.8 fWAR through 337 plate appearances for the two National League clubs.

Despite his impressive display of power, Adams experienced a significant decline at the plate over the second half of the season, batting well under the Mendoza Line as the Cardinals pushed for a postseason berth against the division-winning Brewers and Wild Card-contending Cubs. Still, he saw enough early success in Washington to merit a second look and should provide a sturdy backup to Ryan Zimmerman at first base in 2019.