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09/23/08 3:05 PM ET

Bucs, Alvarez working to reach deal

Tuesday's arbitration hearing on hold as two sides negotiate

MILWAUKEE -- Tuesday's scheduled arbitration hearing concerning a grievance filed by the Major League Baseball Players Association against the Commissioner's Office has been put on hold as the Pirates work to complete a reworked agreement with their No. 2 pick, Pedro Alvarez.

Arbitrator Shyam Das heard testimony on Sept. 10 and was expected to continue the hearing on Tuesday in New York. Das had also set aside Wednesday for the hearing, which stemmed from the union's contention that the Commissioner's Office unfairly and unilaterally extended the Aug. 15 midnight deadline by which teams and Draft picks must come to verbal agreements.

The Pirates and Alvarez, who is represented by agent Scott Boras, are working to finalize a new deal that would ensure Alvarez $6.355 million and a Major League contract. No official agreement has been reached yet, and Alvarez would have to report to Pittsburgh for a physical before signing the contract.

The Pirates have not commented on the current negotiations and are not expected to do so until there is some sort of a conclusion.

If the Pirates and Alvarez, a former Vanderbilt third baseman, can agree to a new contract, it appears that the Players Association would be willing to drop its grievance. With a large witness list already having been submitted, the hearing process was likely to be drawn out for many weeks and possibly months.

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.