Pirates Avoid Arbitration with Newman; Chad Kuhl Non-Tendered

The Pittsburgh Pirates announced that they avoided arbitration with infielder Kevin Newman on Tuesday night ahead of the deadline. They tendered contracts to outfielder Bryan Reynolds and reliever Chris Stratton, but they did not tender a contract to pitcher Chad Kuhl, making him a free agent.

Kevin Gorman had the agreement price at $1.95M between Newman and the Pirates, a raise of just over $1,350,000, but $250,000 under his projected salary.

Newman hit .226/.265/.309 in 148 games this season, while also struggling in 2020 with a .556 OPS. He posted an .800 OPS during the 2019 season. His real value in 2021 came from his defense, which earned him a finalist spot for the Gold Glove award. He had 1.3 dWAR, which is well above the -0.6 dWAR he had during his first three seasons combined.

Kuhl missed time in 2021, and then pitched in relief for part of the season. He had a 4.82 ERA, a 5.31 FIP, a 1.43 WHIP and a 42:75 BB/SO ratio in 81 innings in 2021. He had just one season left before reaching free agency. His projected salary was $3M.

Reynolds and Stratton will both likely go to arbitration now. Reynolds is projected to get $4.5M, while Stratton projects at $2.2M.