Stairs nears new deal |

Stairs nears new deal

CHICAGO — Outfielder Matt Stairs said Sunday he is close to re-signing a contract with the Pirates.

“We should know something next week,” Stairs said after the Pirates finished their season with a 3-2 win over the Chicago Cubs.

The Pirates have until 15 days after the conclusion of the World Series to negotiate exclusively with Stairs, who will become a free agent at that time.

Stairs, 35, signed a one-year, $900,000 contract with the Pirates in December. Alternating between right field and first base, Stairs batted .292 with 20 homers and 57 RBI in 121 games and 305 at-bats.

“I’m very happy here,” Stairs said. “I love playing here, and I think we’re heading in the right direction.”

General manager Dave Littlefield said on his radio show yesterday that he has been negotiating with Stairs’ agent. But he didn’t think a deal was imminent.

Littlefield, however, didn’t rule out the possibility of Stairs returning for another year.

“Matt enjoys being here and playing for Lloyd, and our ballpark is a nice fit for him,” he said. “There are a lot of positives.”

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