January 19, 2016

PITTSBURGH (AP) Catcher Chris Stewart and the Pittsburgh Pirates have agreed to a $3 million, two-year contract that avoids salary arbitration, a deal that includes a 2018 club option.

Stewart will make $1.35 million this year and $1.4 million in 2017 under Tuesday's agreement. The Pirates' option is at $1.5 million with a $250,000 buyout.

The 33-year-old hit .289 with eight doubles, 15 RBI and nine runs scored in 58 games last year while backing up Francisco Cervelli, and he made $1,225,000. Stewart served as the primary catcher for Pirates ace Gerrit Cole. Pittsburgh went 26-10 in the games Stewart started in 2015, including a 15-1 mark at PNC Park.

He had asked for $1.6 million and had been offered $1.35 million when proposed arbitration salaries were exchanged last week.

Pittsburgh also designated right-hander Yoervis Medina for assignment.

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