Bucs Sign Duke To One Year Deal

The Pittsburgh Pirates announced they have agreed to terms with left-handed pitcher Zach Duke on a contract for the 2010 season, thus avoiding salary arbitration.

The 26-year-old Duke was named to the National League All-Star team for the first time in his career in 2009 and went on to share the team lead in victories (11) with righthander Ross Ohlendorf. In addition, he led the '09 pitching staff in innings pitched (213.0) and ranked 12th among all National League pitchers in that category. His three complete games in 2009 tied for third in the N.L. and were the most by a Pittsburgh pitcher since Jeff Suppan had three in 2003.

"We are pleased that we were able to reach agreement with Zach to avoid the arbitration process," said Pirates GM Neal Huntington. "It is a credit to Zach Duke, Mark Pieper (Zach's representative) and Larry Silverman (Pirates) that we were able to reach an amicable agreement."

Originally selected by Pittsburgh in the 2001 First-Year Player Draft, Duke made his Major League debut with the Pirates in 2005 after being named the organization's Minor League Pitcher-of-the-Year in 2004. He went 8-2 with a 1.81 ERA in 14 starts with the Pirates in 2005 and became just the second Pittsburgh rookie ever to win his first five decisions.

In his five seasons with Pittsburgh, Duke has won 37 games and has made more than 30 starts in each of his three full seasons (2006, 2008-09).

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