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Much work to be done

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All the relevant numbers are in regarding today’s deadline to swap salary figures for arbitration. The Pirates signed four of their six players — Adam LaRoche, Zach Duke, John Grabow and Tyler Yates — to one-year contracts.

Paul Maholm and Nate McLouth did not sign today, and the Pirates have much work to do before things are settled. There are huge gaps between what each player has asked for and what the team is offering.

Maholm asked for $3.8 million. The Pirates’ offer is $2.65 million.

McLouth asked for $3.8 million. The Pirates’ offer is $2.75 million.

I asked GM Neal Huntington if he was optimistic a deal could be reached with either player without going through an arbitration hearing. He did not sound optimistic.

“Both sides recognize arbitration can ultimately come to an ugly head,” Huntington said. “But if that’s where it leads, we’ll have to see it through.”

There are 46 players in the majors who could be bound for arbitration hearings, which will be held Feb. 1-21.

LaRoche will make $7.05 million this season, a raise of slightly more than $2 million. The deal includes incentives worth up to $100,000, based on at-bats.

Duke will get $2.2 million, plus up to $100,000 in incentives. The left-hander made $400,000 last season.

Grabow will get $2.3 million, plus up to $75,000 in incentives. The lefty setup specialist made $1.135 last year.

Yates will get $1.3 million, plus up to $25,000 in incentives. The righty reliever made $800,000 last year.

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