Source: Hutchison, Bucs agree to 1-year deal

Reliever Hughes also avoids arbitration with contract for '17

Source: Hutchison, Bucs agree to 1-year deal

BRADENTON, Fla. -- The Pirates have reached agreements with two of their remaining arbitration-eligible players, settling Thursday night on a $2.3 million contract with right-hander Drew Hutchison and a $2.825 million deal with reliever Jared Hughes to avoid arbitration.

An industry source confirmed both agreements, which were first reported by MLB Network insider Jon Heyman.

After earning $2.2 million last season, Hutchison will receive a small raise in 2017. He appeared in nine Major League games last year, six of them for the Pirates. Acquired from the Blue Jays in the oft-debated Francisco Liriano deal at the non-waiver Trade Deadline, Hutchison posted a 5.56 ERA in 11 1/3 innings over one start and five relief outings for the Bucs.

Hughes, 31, struggled in 2016 after two outstanding and underrated seasons as one of the Majors' best ground-ball specialists. He posted a 3.03 ERA and a 1.42 WHIP in 59 1/3 innings over 67 appearances after missing all of April with a lat injury. Hughes made $2.175 million last season.

The Pirates now have four remaining arbitration-eligible players: right-hander Gerrit Cole, closer Tony Watson, shortstop Jordy Mercer and reliever Juan Nicasio. The deadline for arbitration-eligible players to exchange salary figures with their teams is 1 p.m. ET on Friday.

This was Hutchison's second year of arbitration eligibility. He gained a fourth year of club control by remaining in the Minors as long as he did last season; after getting traded on Aug. 1, Hutchison was not called up by the Bucs until Sept. 6. He was projected by MLBTradeRumors.com to earn $2.2 million this season.

The Pirates parted with Liriano and prospects Reese McGuire and Harold Ramirez to acquire Hutchison and free up payroll space, which they have effectively spent this offseason on starter Ivan Nova and setup man Daniel Hudson. Since the deal, club officials have said they believe Hutchison possesses untapped potential.

Hutchison is 30-21 with a 4.93 ERA in 82 Major League appearances. He will compete for a spot in the Pirates' rotation next season along with top prospect Tyler Glasnow and pitching prospects Steven Brault and Trevor Williams.

Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.