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#pounditWednesday, April 17, 2024

Pirates agree to big extension with All-Star pitcher

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The Pittsburgh Pirates are opening up the checkbook for their top arm.

Jeff Passan of ESPN reported Thursday that the Pirates have agreed to a big contract extension with right-hander Mitch Keller. The 27-year-old Keller is getting a five-year extension worth $77 million (nearly $15.5 million a year).

That is a sizable bump in pay for Keller, who made a mere $2.4 million last season. But it is a well-deserved one as Keller posted the best numbers of his career in 2023. Keller went 13-9 with a 4.21 ERA and 210 strikeouts, earning his first-ever All-Star nod on the strength of his stellar year.

A homegrown success story, Keller was drafted by Pittsburgh back in 2014 and made his MLB debut for them in 2019. While the Pirates, who were 76-86 last season, still don’t look poised to seriously compete, they are keeping Keller around (despite some of the past rumors) and doing so through the 2028 season.

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