Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Gerrit Cole is only scheduled to make $541,000 in 2016 as a pre-arbitration eligible player, and he’s not happy about his pay grade, reports Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
Cole is entering his fourth season with the Pirates since being taken with the No. 1 pick in the 2011 draft. His 2015 base salary was $531,000, but he made an extra $10,000 after earning his first trip to the All-Star Game.
The max salary that the team could offer Cole this season was his base salary plus his All-Star bonus.
Cole signed the deal, but made it clear he felt he’s being slighted.
“When you perform at a level that draws the praise of management, teammates, coaches and fans, you expect appropriate compensation,” Cole told the Tribune-Review. “I understand the business of this game, but it is hard to accept that a year of performance success does not warrant an increase in pay.”
As a player with less than three full years of MLB service, Cole has to sign the deal with the Pirates, or it could be imposed at a lower salary. Each team has its own pay scale, and Cole could have made more if he played for another franchise.
“I would think [Pirates owner] Bob [Nutting] would want to reward a guy for a special performance,” said Scott Boras, Cole’s agent. “Other teams have that system. If Gerrit was with the Mets, he'd get well over $650,000. If he was with the Marlins, he’d get more [than the Pirates will pay].”
Cole went 19–8 with a 2.60 ERA and 202 strikeouts in 32 starts last season.