Pirates extend contract of Francisco Cervelli

The Pittsburgh Pirates and catcher Francisco Cervelli have agreed to terms on three-year contract extension through the 2019 season. The announcement was made by Executive Vice President, General Manager Neal Huntington.

Since being acquired by the Pirates prior to the 2015 season, Cervelli has recorded the best on-base percentage (.374) among all Major League catchers while posting the third-best batting average (.290) and the third-most hits (160) among all backstops behind Yadier Molina (174) and Salvador Perez (167). This season the 30-year-old Cervelli has also thrown out eight baserunners attempting to steal against him, which is tied for the second-most among all backstops in the National League.

"We are very pleased to be able to reach a joint commitment with a quality player and person like Francisco Cervelli," said Huntington. "We look forward to Francisco's abilities, passion and energy making us better through at least the 2019 season."

Cervelli helped the Pirates reach the postseason for the third straight season in 2015 after hitting .295 with 17 doubles, five triples, seven home runs and 43 RBI in 130 games. His 124 starts behind the plate last year was both a career high and the most starts by a Pirates catcher since Jason Kendall made 145 in 2004. Cervelli also threw out 23 runners attempting to steal against him in 2015, which ranked third among all catchers in the National League.