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The Pittsburgh Pirates and All-Star starting pitcher Mitch Keller have agreed on a five-year, $77 million contract extension, reports's Mark Feinsand

The deal isn't a huge surprise in these parts, as Keller was recently named an extension candidate by Mike Axisa of CBS Sports.

"I've only been with Pittsburgh, so it's all I really know," Keller said last summer. "I'd love to spend my whole career here, hopefully as long as possible. Having guys like (Ke'Bryan Hayes and Bryan Reynolds) locked up, it's really cool to see some core guys getting locked in. I would love to be a part of that."  

Speaking of those two, Keller's deal is the second-largest contract in franchise history behind Reynolds' eight-year, $106.75 million deal last season. Hayes' eight-year, $70 million extension from 2022 is now third, so the current Pirates' core has three tentpoles. For any trivia buffs out there: Before these three deals, the largest Pirates' contract belonged to Jason Kendall (six years, $60M, 2000). 

Keller, 27, had his breakout season in 2023, going 13-9 with a 4.21 ERA (105 ERA+), 1.25 WHIP and 210 strikeouts in 194 1/3 innings, making the All-Star team for the first time. There are reasons to believe he'll prove better these next few years, too. His previous career high in innings was 159 and he got a bit worse as the season progressed. He had a 2.44 ERA through 10 starts and it was 3.31 at the All-Star break. In particular, three awful outings after the break wrecked his numbers, but as he grows more accustomed to the larger workload, those would likely be avoided. 

Keller wasn't set to hit free agency until after the 2025 season, so this deal buys out his last two years of arbitration in addition to his first three years of free agency. 

Keller heads up a rotation with veteran lefties Martín Pérez and Marco Gonzales. It also includes young righty Luis Ortiz and lefty Bailey Falter at this moment. 

The Pirates finished fourth in the NL Central at 76-86 last season.