The Pittsburgh Pirates have signed catcher Francisco Cervelli to a three-year, $31 million contract extension through the 2019 season, the team announced.
"We are very pleased to be able to reach a joint commitment with a quality player and person like Francisco Cervelli," said Pirates general manager Neal Huntington. "We look forward to Francisco's abilities, passion and energy making us better through at least the 2019 season."
Cervelli will get $9 million in 2017, $10.5 million in 2018 and $11.5 million in 2019, according to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. The 30-year-old was set to become a free agent after this season, but he is now locked up through 2019.
Since the 2015 season, Cervelli has recorded the best on-base percentage (.374), the third-best batting average (.290) and the third-most hits (160) among catchers. Yadier Molina has the most with 174 hits and Salvador Perez rolls in second with 167 hits since the start of the 2015 season.
Cervelli signed with the New York Yankees as an amateur free agent in 2003 out of Venezuela. The catcher played seven of his nine major league seasons with the Yankees prior to his time with the Pirates. On November 12, 2014, Cervelli was traded by New York to Pittsburgh for Justin Wilson.
Across 413 career major league games, Cervelli has slashed .284/.360/.382 with 53 doubles, 10 triples, 17 home runs, 153 RBI and 131 walks. He has hit .291/.373/.384 with seven home runs and 61 RBI in 163 games with the Pirates since being traded.