After back-to-back solid seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates, Jeff Karstens will return for another year. He hit free agency at the end of last season, but the Pirates have agreed to bring him back on a one-year contract.
According to Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazzette, the Pirates and Karstens agreed yesterday to a one-year deal. Since the terms of the contract were not readily available, Brink estimated the value to be around $2.5 million. Pittsburgh non-tendered Karstens after the season and allowed him to test free agency while the team explored starting pitching options of their own, but the Pirates felt it was best to bring him back.
Karstens missed two months last season with shoulder problems, making just 19 starts on the year. He did return for the the majority of the second-half and posted a 3.97 ERA overall last year. Karstens' shoulder does not seem to be a concern going forward, but the Pirates did not want to give him a raise for the the 2013 season. Instead, Karstens will be taking a slight pay-cut if his contract is truly worth $2.5 million.
Brink says part of the reason the Pirates brought Karstens back is because of Francisco Liriano's arm problems discovered recently. The team is not sure what will happen with Liriano and his contract, so they want to protect themselves.
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