7 Pirates file before arbitration deadline

7 Pirates file before arbitration deadline

BRADENTON, Fla. -- As expected, all seven eligible Pirates filed for salary arbitration prior to Tuesday's deadline, according to the Major League Baseball Players Association.

Friday is the deadline for those players -- Francisco Cervelli, Jared Hughes, Jeff Locke, Mark Melancon, Jordy Mercer, Chris Stewart and Tony Watson -- to exchange salary figures for next season with the Pirates. Teams and players often settle on deals, thus avoiding an arbitration hearing, in the hours leading up to that deadline.

General manager Neal Huntington said Tuesday the Pirates hadn't yet agreed to any deals, but he expects the club will ramp up negotiations with its seven arbitration-eligible players toward the end of the week.

"We're a deadline-based society, and most of the discussions tend to happen as you get closer to the deadline," Huntington said. "We anticipate that will be the same this year."

According to MLBTradeRumors.com, the Pirates will owe significant raises to several of those players, most notably Melancon. He is projected to make $10 million in 2016, his final year of club control. As a result, the Pirates have been willing to listen to trade proposals for their All-Star closer, though Huntington has said they're not actively looking to deal him.

Cervelli is projected by MLBTradeRumors to make $2.5 million in his final year of arbitration eligibility, and Stewart is projected to make $1.6 million before becoming a free agent. Watson ($4.6 million), Locke ($3.5 million), Hughes ($2.2 million) and Mercer ($1.8 million) round out the list.

Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.