Liriano ready to pitch opener
BRADENTON, Fla. – The Pirates played their final spring training home game Thursday at McKechnie Field, losing 4-2 to the Yankees, and the day produced several newsworthy items.
n Lefty Francisco Liriano has been deemed ready to go for Monday’s season-opening start against the Cubs at PNC Park. Liriano had been nursing a sore groin but pitched pain free Wednesday.
n The Bucs made official the six-year, $31 million contract extension with left fielder Starling Marte. The 25-year-old gets a $2 million signing bonus, followed by salaries of: $500,000 this year, $1 million in 2015, $3 million in 2016, $5 million in 2017, $7.5 million in 2018 and $10 million in the final year in 2019.
The Pirates have two option years at the end of the deal in 2020 and 2021 that would pay Marte $11.5 million and $12.5 million, respectively. Buyouts for those years would be $2 million the first year and $1 million the final year.
“There are a lot of reasons,” Marte, through aninterpreter, said for signing the deal that bought out three arbitration years and one free agent year. “I didn’t feel I needed to wait because I like where I am. I have confidence in the organization, and I feel comfortable.”
n Right-hander Brandon Cumpton was optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis. He should get some opportunities with the big league club this season, but he and lefty Jeff Locke were the odd men out in the starting rotation.
n The Pirates made a trade that impacts the Curve roster. They acquired outfielder Keon Broxton from the Diamondbacks for a player to be named later and announced he will be assigned to Altoona.
The 23-year-old Broxton hit .231 with eight homers and 41 RBIs last season for Mobile in the Double-A Southern League. He was a third-round draft pick in 2009.
n Right-hander Edinson Volquez will remain in Florida for extended spring training after the Pirates break camp. He’s scheduled to throw up to 100 pitches Sunday in a minor league game. Volquez, who signed a $5 million deal in December, is to make his Pirates debut April 6 at home against the St. Louis Cardinals.