Report: Pirates, No. 2 pick Alvarez agree on deal despite grievance

Updated: September 22, 2008, 4:15 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

The Pirates have agreed to a reworked deal with third baseman Pedro Alvarez, the No. 2 overall pick from Vanderbilt who was initially signed by Pittsburgh a month ago before a union grievance put the contract on hold, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Monday.

Alvarez and the Pirates agreed to a four-year deal Sunday night worth a guaranteed
$6.4 million, the newspaper reported, citing three sources close to the contract talks. The deal is contingent on a physical expected to be performed early this week.

A source told the Post-Gazette the Pirates' signing of the power-hitting collegiate star would likely result in the voiding of a grievance the players' association filed Aug. 27 against the commissioner's office.

[+] EnlargePedrdo Alvarez
John David Mercer/US PresswireThe Pirates' No. 2 overall pick this year, Pedro Alvarez -- playing for Team USA last summer -- has agreed to a revised $6.4 million deal, according to a newspaper report.
It contended Major League Baseball had violated its collective bargaining agreement with the players by approving a verbal deal that was reached between Alvarez and the Pirates shortly after a midnight deadline Aug. 15.

An arbitrator heard the complaint Sept. 10 in New York, a hearing that included testimony from commissioner Bud Selig. Two more hearings were set for Tuesday and Wednesday, the newspaper reported.

Alvarez and the Pirates originally agreed to a minor league deal with a $6 million signing bonus. The new contract retains the $6 million bonus but would pay it over four years instead of two, the Post-Gazette reported.

The minor league salaries under the contract would total $400,000. Alvarez would earn more if he is on the active major league roster.

Alvarez's agent, Scott Boras, claimed Pirates president Frank Coonelly used his influence with MLB to get the deadline extended. Before he was hired last year by Pittsburgh, Coonelly was the MLB legal counsel who drew up the slotting system that recommends specific bonuses for draft picks based on how high they were chosen.

"Regrettably, we are not surprised that Mr. Boras would attempt to raise a meritless legal claim in an effort to compel us to renegotiate Pedro's contract to one more of his liking," Coonelly said in a statement on Aug. 27. "We are, however, disappointed that Pedro would allow his agent to pursue this claim on his behalf.

"Pedro showed tremendous fortitude and independent thinking when he agreed to his contract on Aug. 15."

Neither Boras nor the Pirates would comment Monday to The Associated Press.

The 21-year-old Alvarez, who attended the Horace Mann School in the Bronx, hit .349 with 49 homers and 51 doubles in 170 college games. He had 40 homers his first two seasons before a broken hamate bone in his right hand caused him to miss 23 of Vanderbilt's first 24 games last season.

The 6-foot-2, 225-pound Alvarez is a left-handed hitter, a plus for the Pirates because the right-field power alley at PNC Park is 15 feet shorter than in left field.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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