Maybe they’re waiting for Derek Bell to return some money? From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Dean Kovacevic.

The Pirates have made a contract offer to starter Zach Duke for one year at $335,000, which would be $8,000 more than Major League Baseball’s minimum wage. Duke, who was 8-2 last season and led all National League rookies with a 1.81 earned run average, has not accepted it.

Because Duke (above) has less than three years experience, the team reserves the right to impose any terms it wishes on him, even if he refuses to sign. The Pirates have set a deadline of March 1 to complete all such contracts.

Last spring, the Pirates offered Bay $355,000 when he was coming off being the league’s rookie of the year, and he declined to sign. Starter Oliver Perez did the same when the team offered $381,000 after he led all of baseball by averaging 11 strikeouts per nine innings. Each contract was implemented by the team at those terms.