Bucs ink Marte to two-year extension

Bucs ink Marte to two-year extension

PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates signed left-handed reliever Damaso Marte to a two-year contract extension on Monday with a club option for 2009. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Marte, who was acquired from the Chicago White Sox last December in a trade for utility player Rob Mackowiak, went 1-7 with a 3.70 ERA last season while making a career-high 75 appearances. His salary for the 2006 campaign was $2.25 million.

Marte had a $3 million club option for 2007, which the club exercised over the weekend, and another $3 million club option for 2008. According to Pirates GM Dave Littlefield, the two-year extension signed on Monday replaced the option that had been exercised previously.

"We picked up the option, then negotiated another contract that supersedes [the option]," said Littlefield.

"We think Marte is a valuable guy in our bullpen. It's another asset to give [Pirates manager] Jim Tracy from the left side a little earlier in the game.

"[Marte] has had some very good years in the past. We think he'll do a good job for us and continue to give us strong depth in the bullpen."

If the Pirates had declined to pick up their original option on Marte, the team would have owed him a $250,000 buyout, and the southpaw would have become a free agent.

Marte, 31, has compiled a 15-21 record with a 3.28 ERA and 31 saves in 382 career appearances during his seven-year Major League career.

Ed Eagle is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.