The Pirates avoided arbitration with Jeff Karstens today, signing at one-year deal for $3.1 mllion (per Rob Biertempfel). There’s very little analysis to be done on these sorts of one-year deals, since there’s usually a pretty narrow range that the salaries are likely to fall into given experience and performance. Karstens is getting a bit more than expected here and he would’ve made for an interesting arbitration case given the gulf between his ERA (3.38) and his FIP/xFIP (4.29/4.00). That said, it’s understandable why the Pirates would want to avoid exactly this sort of arbitration case. Karstens was quite a bit better last year than he was in the past and arguing over how much better he was seems like the sort of counterproductive exercise better left for bloggers and private front office conversations about internal evaluations. In the short term, it’s probably just easier for the Pirates to offer up a few hundred thousand more dollars and keep their players happy rather than fight over it in this kind of situation.