This was the Headline in the PG on Feb 18th:
McLouth's contract caps Pirates' internal goal.
The Pirates surely have not made a splash in acquiring outside talent this offseason, but the three-year, $15.75 million contract they signed yesterday with center fielder Nate McLouth buoyantly capped management's goal of securing all three of its identified core players -- along with pitcher Paul Maholm and catcher Ryan Doumit -- into what would have been their free-agency years.
The most surprising of the signings, given all that led to it, was McLouth's.
He and the team agreed in the wee hours of yesterday morning on three guaranteed years plus a club option for 2012, with the following breakdown:
• $1.5 million signing bonus.
• Salaries of $2 million this season, $4.5 million next season and $6.5 million in 2011.
• Club option worth $10.65 million for 2012, with a buyout of $1.25 million.
• Escalator clauses that increase McLouth's salary the season after he makes any of three achievements: $200,000 for an All-Star appearance this year and next, $300,000 for one in 2011; $200,000 for a Gold Glove this year and next, $300,000 for one in 2011; $100,000 for a Silver Slugger this year and next, $150,000 for one in 2011.
Maximum value of the contract is $26.9 million and, unlike most of its kind, the bonuses appear reasonably attainable: McLouth, 27, is coming off a breakout 2008 in which he played in the All-Star Game, won a Gold Glove and batted .276 with 26 home runs, 94 RBIs and 23 steals.