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Pirates Avoid Arbitration With Kevin Newman, Non-Tender Chad Kuhl

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Tuesday night marked the tender/non-tender deadline in Major League Baseball and the Pirates have announced their decisions. The Bucs avoided arbitration with Kevin Newman by reportedly agreeing to a $1.95M contract for 2022, according to The Athletic’s Rob Biertempfel. Additionally, right-hander Chad Kuhl was non-tendered while fellow righty Chris Stratton and outfielder Bryan Reynolds were both tendered contracts for 2022.

Newman was projected to earn $2.2M in his first year of arbitration, so both sides agreed to a lesser amount to ensure a roster spot was secured. Newman dazzled defensively for the Pirates last season and was named a finalist for the Gold Glove Award. The same could not be said about Newman’s efforts with the bat as Newman posted an OPS of .574, lowest in the league among qualified players.

The decision to non-tender Kuhl should not come as much of a surprise as the Pirates bounced him from the rotation to end the season. Kuhl was projected to earn $3M in 2022 and the Pirates decided that it wasn’t worth the salary to retain him. Kuhl will now be a free agent free to sign with any team.

The Pirates ninth-round selection in 2013 will seemingly see his career in Pittsburgh come to a close. He’ll finish with a record of 25-30, a 4.44 ERA and 395 strikeouts in  439.2 innings of work in the black and gold.

The Pirates faced easy decisions to tender contracts to both Reynolds and Stratton. Reynolds is in his first of four seasons of arbitration-eligibility and is projected to earn $4M.  This will be the second time Stratton has been arbitration and is projected to earn a salary of $2.2M. The deadline to exchange arbitration figures is set for Jan. 14, though with the expected work stoppage, that could change.

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