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Pittsburgh Pirates avoid arbitration with Gerrit Cole, 4 others

By The Sports Xchange
Pittsburgh Pirates avoid arbitration with Gerrit Cole, 4 others
Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Gerrit Cole delivers a pitch to the St. Louis Cardinals in the third inning at Busch Stadium in St. Louis on May 8, 2016. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo

The Pittsburgh Pirates and right-handed ace Gerrit Cole agreed to a one-year, $3.75 million deal on Friday to avoid arbitration.

Cole went 7-10 with a 3.88 ERA in 21 starts last season while dealing with injuries to his ribs and elbow. It was a dropoff from his 2015 performance when he went 19-8 with a 2.60 ERA and finished fourth in the National League Cy Young Award balloting.

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Cole, the No. 1 overall pick of the 2011 draft, is 47-30 with a 3.23 ERA in four big-league seasons.

Pittsburgh also reached one-year deals with shortstop Jody Mercer ($4.325 million) and right-handers Juan Nicasio ($3.65 million), Jared Hughes ($2.825 million) and Drew Hutchison ($2.3 million).

Mercer batted .256 with 11 homers last season. Nicasio was 10-7 with a 4.50 ERA, Hughes was 1-1 with a 3.03 ERA while Hutchison was 1-0 with a 5.25 ERA while splitting time with Toronto and the Pirates.

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