Pirates, Hanrahan, Morton avoid arbitration

The Pirates agreed to terms on a 1-year deal with closer Joel Hanrahan and starter Charlie Morton. Both players are entering their 1st season of arbitration eligibility.

Hanrahan’s deal is worth $4.1 million after a stellar season where he posted a 1.83 ERA over 68 2/3 innings. He racked up 40 saves in 44 opportunities. His K/9 dipped down to 8.0 from 12.9 in 2010, so that will be something to keep an eye on in 2012.

Morton’s deal is for $2.45 million after a breakout 2011 campaign where he put up a 3.83 ERA over 171 2/3 innings. He finished the season with the 3rd highest ground ball percentage at 58.5%, which helped make up for his low K/9 of 5.8. It will be interesting to see if he can continue to build off his 2011 season and be the pitcher the Pirates are hoping he is.