By Tab Douglas

PITTSBURGH (KDKA 93-7 The Fan)- The Pirates have begun their last week of Spring Training.

Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported that Starling Marte turned down two contract offers from the Pirates during the offseason. But Biertempfel told Tab Douglas and Stacy Kauffman that both sides are open to an extension.

“He’s one of the guys that you would think the Pirates would try to target and lock up for a number of years,” Biertempfel said. “Talking with different people around the situation, the idea is good. Both sides are open to the idea, it’s just as you can expect, it’s pretty rare that the first number that’s thrown out there is accepted by all the sides.”

Biertempfel added that he got the sense that both sides are optimistic that a deal will eventually get done.

Biertempfel told Douglas and Kauffman that he has heard conflicting numbers in terms of years and dollar amounts.

“I’ve heard three years, five years, different dollar figures, but I think at this point, you can obviously figure out that the numbers from Starling’s side are just too low and that eventually the Pirates will come up,” Biertempfel said.

Marte was a finalist for a Gold Glove in 2013, his first full season in the majors. The 25-year-old hit .280 with 12 home runs, 35 RBI and 41 stolen bases while helping the Pirates reach the postseason for the first time since 1992.

Pittsburgh opens the season March 31 at home against the Chicago Cubs.


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