- Associated Press - Friday, January 13, 2017

PITTSBURGH (AP) - Right-handers Jared Hughes and Drew Hutchison agreed to one-year contracts with the Pittsburgh Pirates and avoided salary arbitration.

Hughes gets $2,825,000 under Thursday’s deal, up from $2,175,000 last year. Hutchison receives $2.3 million, a raise of $100,000.

The reliable Hughes has been a stabilizing force in the middle of the bullpen, where he often works as a seventh-inning setup man or a fireman whose sinker is called on to help get the Pirates out of trouble when the bases are clogged.

He went 1-1 with a 3.03 ERA in 67 appearances last year. The six homers he allowed were the second-most of his six-year career, but he’s been a steady performer during Pittsburgh’s rise back to respectability.

The Pirates acquired the 26-year-old Hutchison as part of the deal that sent left-hander Francisco Liriano to Toronto at last summer’s trade deadline. Hutchison appeared in six games for the Pirates, including a spot start.

General manager Neal Huntington continues to throw Hutchison’s name out as someone who can claim a spot at the back end of the rotation behind Gerrit Cole, Ivan Nova and Jameson Taillon.

Cole is among four Pirates still eligible for arbitration, along with shortstop Jordy Mercer, right-hander Juan Nicasio and left-hander Tony Watson.

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