The last 24 hours have been eventful for the Pittsburgh Pirates front office. On Tuesday, the Pirates acquired right-hander Vance Worley from the Minnesota Twins for cash. Wednesday morning, the team followed that up by reportedly agreeing to a six-year extension with outfielder Starling Marte.
Edinson Volquez, signed in the offseason for $5 million, hasn't performed well in spring training. In 14 innings, the 30-year-old right-hander has amassed a 9.64 ERA and a 1.86 WHIP. This, while facing high-quality opposition, according to Baseball-Reference's OppQual index.
As The Associated Press notes (via CBS Minnesota), Worley was the Opening Day starter in 2013 for the Twins, subsequently posting a 1-5 record and a 7.21 ERA in 10 starts. He was relegated to a role in Triple-A for the majority of the season.
Worley is three years removed from an 11-3 season with the Philadelphia Phillies that saw him garner Rookie of the Year attention.
The 26-year-old is on a minor league contract. The dependability of the fifth starter and who that may be is just one area of concern on the Pirates roster heading into the regular season, and Worley could ultimately factor into that equation.
One area in which the Pirates appear set for the next handful of years is the outfield.
The Pirates had been reportedly attempting to sign Marte to a deal, as per Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. That deal came to fruition in the form of a multiyear extension with at least one option year, according to CBS Sports' Jon Heyman. Jim Duquette of MLB Network Radio reports that the six-year deal is worth $31 million.
As Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette points out, the deal buys out all of Marte's arbitration time.
With the reported deal, two cornerstones of the Pirates outfield, Marte and Andrew McCutchen, are now locked up under team control for the foreseeable future. With 22-year-old top prospect Gregory Polanco due for a call-up this summer, the future of Pittsburgh's outfield for the next half decade could be featured at PNC Park by June.
Not including Wednesday, the Pirates have three spring training games left to play before the March 31 home opener against the Chicago Cubs. Only five days remain until Opening Day.