Tabata extension announcement expected today

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

The Pirates have scheduled an 11:15 am ET press conference on Sunday during which the club is expected to announce a contract extension for Jose Tabata. The outfielder is scheduled to attend the media gathering, along with Pirates general manager Neal Huntington.

Reports that Tabata was close to agreeing to a six-year deal with the organization first surfaced on Friday. But out of respect to Draft picks Josh Bell and Gerrit Cole – who were already set to meet with the press on Friday and Saturday, respectively – the Pirates would not comment on the contract speculation.

By signing Tabata, 23, now, the Pirates can cover his arbitration years and possibly multiple free agency years, depending upon how many options are attached to the multi-year deal. Tabata will be arbitration-eligible after the 2013 season. He was slated to become a free agent in fall 2016.

The corner outfielder made his debut with the Pirates last June and has appeared in 177 games since. He’s hit .286 with 34 stolen bases, a .350 on-base percentage, 35 doubles and 105 runs scored.

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