PITTSBURGH (AP) Pittsburgh Pirates first baseman Josh Bell's breakout season earned him a hefty pay bump going into 2020. Bell will make $4.8 million this season after agreeing to a deal ahead of Friday's arbitration deadline.
The 27-year-old hit .277 with 37 home runs and 116 RBIs while making the All-Star team for the first time in 2019. He has become the unquestioned face of the franchise since making his major-league debut in 2016, though the clock may already be ticking in terms of how long his tenure might last. Any chance Bell - who is under team control through 2023 - signs a long-term deal would likely require him to give the Pirates a discount at the bargaining table in the future as former center fielder Andrew McCutchen did in 2012.
Bell's signing was the most notable on a busy day for the revamped Pirates. New general manager Ben Cherington agreed to terms with all eight of Pittsburgh's arbitration eligible players, with Bell's pay increase from $597,000 last season to more than eight times that amount in 2020 the biggest of the bunch.