The Pittsburgh Pirates announced that they extended catcher Francisco Cervelli on a three-year deal Tuesday.
Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reported that Cervelli's deal will be worth $31 million.
"We are very pleased to be able to reach a joint commitment with a quality player and person like Francisco Cervelli," Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said in a statement. "We look forward to Francisco's abilities, passion and energy making us better through at least the 2019 season."
The 30-year-old Cervelli took over the starting catcher's role in Pittsburgh last season and flourished. In a spot previously held by Russell Martin (who exited for Toronto), Cervelli was worth 3.8 FanGraphs Wins Above Replacement.
His bat was very good. Over 510 plate appearances, Cervelli hit .295/.370/.401 with seven home runs and 43 RBIs. His defense was similarly special, as Cervelli is often ranked amongst the best defensive catchers in the Major Leagues.
This season, Cervelli has gotten off to a solid start as well, hitting .276/.386/.319 with 18 RBIs and a 0.7 fWAR.
In 2014, the Pirates acquired Cervelli from the New York Yankees, the team that signed him as a amateur free agent in 2003. Never a starting catcher, Cervelli was supposed to be good depth for Pittsburgh behind Martin, but has come into his own since.
Cervelli was expected to become a free agent after the 2016 season, but instead will reportedly make $9 million, $10.5 million, and $11.5 million to stay with Pittsburgh.
This offseason's free agent class continues to get even weaker as many of the better players that were going to be on the open market have signed extensions with their current teams. Most notably, this includes Stephen Strasburg, who just recently struck a deal with the Nationals.
As for the Pirates, they are attempting to keep their core intact as long as possible. The team has made the postseason in each of the last three seasons, and they have locked up Andrew McCutchen, Gregory Polanco, Josh Harrison, Starling Marte, and now Cervelli all to long-term contracts to continue their successes into the future.