Francisco Cervelli open to extension with Pirates; at three years, $39 million?

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Francisco Cervelli had a nice debut season with the Pirates in 2015, batting .295 with a .370 on-base percentage in 130 games while contributing steady defense behind the plate. But the 29-year-old catcher is scheduled to become a free agent after the 2016 season, and the Pittsburgh front office will have to buck up — slight pun intended — to keep him around for any longer than that.

Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review has the latest …

Even though Cervelli is only nine months away from free agency and is expected to rival Baltimore’s Matt Wieters as the top catcher available next winter, Cervelli would consider foregoing the open market if the Pirates offered a three-year extension offer worth roughly $13 million per season, according to a source.

That’s not a ton of money for a reliable catcher, but the Pirates operate on a tight budget compared to other MLB teams. They’re paying Cervelli just $3.5 million for the 2016 season.

“We do not discuss negotiations — potential or active — publicly,” Pirates general manager Neal Huntington told the Tribune-Review when asked about a possible extension. “We like Cervelli a lot and would welcome the chance to have him remain a Pirate in the event we are able to find a contract that makes sense for both the player and club. We are also fortunate to have two quality catching prospects that are near major league ready in case we are not able to reach common financial ground.”

Those prospects are Elias Diaz and Reese McGuire, both top-10 guys at the position.

Another thing to ponder as we move toward the start of spring training.

Dodgers sign Miguel Rojas to 1-year, $6M deal thru 2024

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LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Dodgers agreed to terms with infielder Miguel Rojas on a one-year, $6 million deal that takes him through the 2024 season.

The contract includes a salary of $5 million in 2024 and a club option salary of $5 million in 2025 with a $1 million buyout and charitable contributions.

The 33-year-old Rojas was acquired last month from the Miami Marlins for minor league infielder Jacob Amaya. He returns to the Dodgers for the second time, having made 85 appearances with the club in 2014 as a rookie.

Rojas hit .236 with six home runs and 36 RBIs in 140 games last season. He’s been in the majors for parts of nine seasons while playing five different defensive positions.