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PITTSBURGH – The Pittsburgh Pirates and all-star pitcher Mitch Keller agreed to a five-year contract worth US$77-million, a person with knowledge of the agreement told The Associated Press on Thursday. The deal is pending a physical, the person said on condition of not being identified because the agreement was not yet final. The contract, the largest the Pirates have given a pitcher, begins this season and runs through 2028. It replaces a one-year agreement last month worth US$5,442,500. Keller would have been eligible for free agency after the 2025 season. A 27-year-old right-hander, Keller is coming off a breakthrough season in which he became a first-time all-star. He finished 13-9 with a 4.21 ERA on a Pirates team that went 76-86. The agreement figures to give Pittsburgh some long-term stability at the top of the rotation as they try to move closer to contention in the NL Central following a methodical top-to-bottom overhaul that began when the team hired general manager Ben Cherington in the fall of 2019.

PHOENIX – Gary Sanchez is guaranteed US$3-million in his one-year contract with the Milwaukee Brewers, can earn an additional US$4-million this year depending on the condition of his right wrist and could make US$14-million over two seasons. The catcher’s deal includes a US$3-million salary for this year. The deal includes a $1-million assignment bonus if traded. Sanchez gets a hotel suite on road trips.

LAKELAND, Fla. – Infielder Gio Urshela and the Detroit Tigers agreed to a US$1.5-million, one-year contract, a move that figures to create competition at third base with Zach McKinstry, Matt Vierling and Andy Ibanez. Urshela can earn US$500,000 in performance bonuses for plate appearances: US$100,000 each for 500 and each additional 30 through 620.

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