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Ji-Man Choi Only Pirates Player on Course for Arbitration Hearing

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The Pittsburgh Pirates agreed to one-year contracts with four of their five remaining players eligible for salary arbitration on Friday.

Mitch Keller signed for $2,437,500 and fellow right-handed starter JT Brubaker agreed to $2,275,000. Righty relievers Robert Stephenson ($1.75 million) and Duane Underwood Jr. ($1,025,000) also came to terms.

That leaves first baseman Ji-Man Choi as the only remaining Pirates player in the arbitration process. He will most likely be headed for an arbitration hearing next month to settle his contract.

The Pirates are one of many “file-and-trial” teams in the majors. That means if a player opts to file for arbitration, then the team will stop negotiating and let a three-person panel of arbitrators decide at a hearing.

Choi was acquired from Tampa Bay in November in a trade after hitting .233/.341/.388 with 11 home runs in 113 games for the Rays last season. He had a $3.2-million salary and is likely to make around $4.5 million in 2023.

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Keller had a 5-12 record with a 3.91 ERA in 31 games (29 starts) in 2022. Brubaker went 3-12 with a 4.69 ERA in 28 starts.

Underwood made 51 appearances (one start) and finished with a 1-6 record, one save and a 4.40 ERA. After being claimed off waivers from the Colorado Rockies on Aug. 27, Stephenson went 0-1 with a 3.38 ERA in 13 games.

 

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