Bautista's one-year deal could pay another $100,000 in bonuses

Updated: January 17, 2008, 6:17 PM ET
Associated Press

PITTSBURGH -- Third baseman Jose Bautista and the Pittsburgh Pirates bypassed arbitration by agreeing Thursday to a $1.8 million, one-year contract.


Bautista's deal leaves the Pirates with three players still eligible for arbitration: second baseman Freddy Sanchez, outfielder Xavier Nady and left-handed reliever John Grabow.

Bautista's salary represents a substantial raise from the $397,500 he made last season. The deal includes $100,000 in available performance bonuses for games played and plate appearances.

Bautista hit .254 with 15 homers and 63 RBIs while playing in a career-high 142 games last season.

Bautista, 27, was a 20th-round draft pick by Pittsburgh in 2000, but was claimed by Baltimore in the Rule 5 draft in December 2003. He wound up playing for four teams in 2004 -- the Baltimore Orioles, Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Kansas City Royals and Pirates -- after the Orioles designated him for assignment in late May.

Bautista returned to Pittsburgh in a July 2004 trade. He batted .235 with 16 homers and 51 RBIs in 117 games in 2006, playing the infield and outfield.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press