Francisco Cervelli extends Contract with Pirates through 2019

Photo Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

piratesThe Pittsburgh Pirates have announced, via their Facebook page, that fan-favorite Catcher Francisco Cervelli has signed to a 3-year extension. The deal is worth a total of $31 million over the three years. Over that same span, the Toronto Blue Jays will be paying former-Pirate Russell Martin $82 million.

Cervelli was set to become a free agent after being acquired from the New York Yankees for Southpaw Justin Wilson. Cervelli is batting .290 and adds a .374 on-base percentage.

With the upcoming Free Agency class dwindling (especially pitchers with Stephen Strasburg and Tim Lincecum soon locked up), this is the next best option to a pitcher that the Pirates could sign. Francisco Cervelli has proved to be one of the best at helping a pitcher get low-chance strikes called; this will go a long way in the process of getting inexperienced pitchers experience and prolonging their appearances. Michael Clair of wrote a great article on it here.