Pirates avoid arbitration with Walker, McDonald

Associated Press  |  Last updated January 31, 2013
The Pittsburgh Pirates agreed to terms on 2013 contracts with second baseman Neil Walker and right-handed pitcher James McDonald on Thursday, avoiding arbitration. Terms of the deals were not disclosed. Walker hit .280 with 14 home runs and 69 RBIs in 129 games last season but missed significant time due to a back injury. The 27-year-old Pittsburgh native made $500,000 in 2012 and was arbitration eligible for the first time this winter. The 28-year-old McDonald went 12-8 with a 4.21 ERA in 2012 but struggled for most of the second half. McDonald made $502,500 last year. He is expected to be the team's third starter in 2013 behind A.J. Burnett and Wandy Rodriguez. The deals mean the Pirates have reached agreement with all of their arbitration-eligible players. Pitchers and catchers report in Bradenton, Fla., on Feb. 11.
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