We learned recently that the Pirates had offered a seven-year contract extension to outfield prospect Gregory Polanco, who has of course yet to take the major league field. The extension tender was particularly interesting because of the contrast between Polanco’s situation and that of players like the Astros’ George Springer, whose similar extension offer came from a non-contender (and who has since been promoted), and Oscar Taveras of the Cardinals, who does not have an obvious spot at the MLB level. Those looking for more thoughts on this situation have a few pieces to check out. In a piece for Grantland, Ben Lindbergh breaks down the overall promotion picture, explaining that several organizations employ quite a different philosophy than strict service time controllers like the Bucs and Rays — and noting that there are very real risks to holding down talent. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports says that the Pirates are now in a tough spot, given their desire to save money but equally obvious team need for Polanco. Meanwhile, over at Fangraphs, Dave Cameron writes that the discount demanded by the team on Polanco’s reasonably anticipated earnings was just too great, and opines that Pittsburgh should be willing to up its guarantee by $10MM to $15MM.
Here’s more from the National League:
- It is virtually certain that outrighted veteran Xavier Nady will decline his assignment and become a free agent, reports MLB.com’s Corey Brock (via Twitter). The 35-year-old veteran stands at a .135/.238/.405 triple-slash in 42 plate appearances on the season. He did put up a quality .296/.360/.456 line in 495 trips to the plate at the Triple-A level last year.
- The Mets have a detailed plan in the works regarding highly-rated pitching prospect Rafael Montero, reports Andy Martino of the New York Daily News. With an innings limit in play, New York hopes to work Montero as a reliever (first at Triple-A, then in the bigs) before sending him back to the minors to stretch back out and join the MLB rotation later on in the season.
- The first three picks of the amateur draft appear fairly set (at least at this point), which could make the Cubs (who hold the fourth overall choice) the first true wild card. With Tommy John victim Jeff Hoffman now likely out of play, Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune says that possibilities include prep arm Kyle Freeland, TCU lefty Brandon Finnegan, or high school catcher/outfielder Alex Jackson.