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Pirates avoid arbitration process with Hanrahan

Pirates avoid arbitration process with Hanrahan

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Pirates avoid arbitration process with Hanrahan
The Pirates signed reliever Joel Hanrahan to a one-year contract on Tuesday, avoiding the arbitration process with the right-hander. Only right-hander Ross Ohlendorf remains on Pittsburgh's list of unsettled arbitration cases.

Terms of Hanrahan's new deal were not immediately available.

The Pirates have not gone to an arbitration hearing with a player since 2004, and the club still has an opportunity to keep that streak alive. Pittsburgh can still negotiate a deal with Ohlendorf prior to baseball's arbitration hearings, which are scheduled to take place from Feb. 1-21, if necessary.

Tuesday marked the deadline for clubs to exchange salary figures with unsigned arbitration-eligible players. Pittsburgh did just that with Ohlendorf, offering the righty a $1.4 million salary for 2011. Ohlendorf's party countered with a request for a $2.025 million salary.

The right-handed Hanrahan is coming off a solid season out of the Pirates' bullpen and is a candidate to be the club's full-time closer for 2011. Last year, he compiled 100 strikeouts against 26 walks over 69 2/3 innings while earning $453,000. Hanrahan, 29, finished the year 4-1 with a 3.62 ERA over 72 appearances.

The Pirates acquired Hanrahan from the Nationals in June 2009 in the deal that sent Nyjer Morgan and Sean Burnett to Washington. In parts of two seasons with Pittsburgh, Hanrahan has fashioned a 3.03 ERA over 105 games, piling up 137 strikeouts in 101 innings out of the bullpen.

Ohlendorf, 28, is coming off an injury-marred season as a starter for the Pirates. The right-hander finished the year 1-11 with a 4.07 ERA over 21 outings, but was limited to 108 1/3 innings due to various health woes. Ohlendorf missed a month at the start of the year with a back issue and sat out the season's final month due to a right shoulder injury.

Pittsburgh obtained Ohlendorf in the trade that sent Xavier Nady and Damaso Marte to the Yankees on July 26, 2008. In parts of three seasons with the Pirates, Ohlendorf has gone 12-24 with a 4.15 ERA over 55 games. After earning $439,000 in 2010, Ohlendorf became eligible for arbitration this winter due to earning Super Two status.

Once Ohlendorf reaches an agreement with the Pirates -- whether by going to a hearing or not -- it will wrap up the Pirates' process of signing all of their arbitration-eligible players. Of the initial group of nine, four of them -- Zach Duke, Andy LaRoche, Lastings Milledge and Delwyn Young -- were either released or traded.

Ronny Cedeno ($1.85 million), Jeff Karstens ($1.1 million) and Wil Ledezma ($700,000) came to agreements earlier this winter.

In 2004, Jack Wilson won his case and was granted a salary of $1.8 million. The club was offering $1.4 million to him that year.

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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