Pirates outfielder Gregory Polanco told reporters today that he’d be open once again to exploring an extension with the club, as MLB.com’s Adam Berry was among those to report (Twitter link). But the Bucs haven’t yet re-visited the subject since it was tabled last April, he added.
Notably, the Pirates and Polanco “came very close” to reaching an accord last year, Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports on Twitter (and as Jon Heyman has previously suggested). Biertempfel indicates, though, that the sides are likely to open a new dialogue this spring, as he explains further in a post on the subject.
The new deal yesterday for Dee Gordon — like Polanco, a BHSC client — provides a reminder that extension season is upon us. Spring training has often proved a fertile venue for long-term negotiations, with many deals coming to fruition there — or, sometimes, gaining steam before completion early in the season.
Polanco certainly looks to be a candidate for a multi-year deal after turning in a full and productive big league season last year. He slashed just .256/.320/.381, but turned things on in the second half and also contributed 27 steals. Importantly, too, metrics credit him with big overall value on the bases (5.3 BsR) and with the glove (7.7 UZR, 12 DRS).
While other organizations might prefer to see a lengthier run of production, Pittsburgh has given every indication of being committed to the 24-year-old and would obviously also see some upside in locking him in now, when he’s accumulated only 1.103 years of service.
Prior talks were said to be in the seven or eight-year range, though it’s not clear where things might head now that there’s another season under Polanco’s belt. Certainly, the youngster’s leverage has risen due to his solid campaign and service accumulation, though he also hasn’t yet reached his potentially lofty ceiling.
According to Heyman’s prior reporting, the earlier negotiations did not result in a deal in large part because the parties could not come to an understanding over the option rights that the Pirates would acquire in the contract. While it seemed that a string of three option seasons was a settled element of the package being discussed, both the value (reportedly, $11MM to $13MM) and the timing of the decisions on those options were apparently never resolved.
Thinking a deal will get done this spring for Mr. Polanco. Hope they do before the season as he will get pretty pricing if he has the season I think he will have this summer. His career has pretty much mirrored Marte’s career so far. Good to start, faded a bit and came on a the end of his first full season. Marte took of in year 3, his 2nd full season. That would be this year for Polanco.
Polanco actually has the highest ceiling of Marte-Polanco-Meadows
Unfortunately he also has the lowest floor.
However at worst he’ll still be a solid major leaguer.
Polanco should continue to add power and bang out 2-3 30HR seasons with a lot of 20’s, while putting in work on the base paths.
Really is going to be an outstanding OBP guy overall tho.
Pretty much just needs to figure out RF
Agree with this^ as a young guy kind of reminds me exactly of Dom brown, maybe a little more athletic. That’s not saying he’ll bust but that it could get bad.
Some of these extensions leave me scratching my head. For Polanco, especially, he’s not even at 2 years of service time. He’s a great player, don’t get me wrong, but I’m not sure why you’d sign a player with that little service time to an extension.
Is it to appease the player and remind him of good faith when he does become a free agent?
Is it t save money and extend him at today’s market price instead of whatever it could be down the road?
I guess for me, the risk I see in extensions of this nature, and even Dee Gordon’s, is that those players are so far from free agency that the chance it blows up in the organization’s face is much, much higher. You can still control that player’s salary for several years (with the exception of arbitration, but deals can always be done to avoid the process each Winter).
And you also have to ask the question (this is more in general than in direct regards to Polanco), does this player possess a skill set that I cannot get anywhere else at a cheaper cost (money or trade)? For some of the players to receive big extensions recently, I’m not so sure I believe that’s the case.
They can definitely be a risk, but less so than spending money in the free agency market. If you can buy out some free agency seasons especially if you get them as options at reasonable rates they can make sense. Especially for small markets who could never pay market rates for free agents.
It’s a gamble, but assuming the player gives up some cash for the security they receive with the guaranteed contract it’s a relatively low cost of keeping talent. Just staying in Pittsburgh, without deals like this McCutchen would have been a free agent this off-season. Instead, Pittsburgh still have him at 2 years $27 million with a $14.5 million team option. They never could have afforded a player of his talent level if he was a free agent.
I have to agree with jtmorgan. Also to add a bit further onto that, I’d say prices are only going to go up as advanced metrics are making all-around guys like Polanco that much more expensive!!
So, yes it is a risk for the team, but it is a calculated and smart risk that is worth taking. An extension would eventually save them some possible major money down the line. Also, this will eventually end up keeping Polanco in a Bucs uniform for a couple extra years, rather than losing him to free agency.
I think there is obvious risk involved in any extension like this but the risk is just as big by not signing an extension now. With the salaries continuing to climb you have to roll the dice. The Pirates scored big when they signed Cutch to the extension that is a total bargain right now. Imagine what arbitration figures would be like 3 or 4 years from now for average outfielders and I think you can get comfortable with a lengthy extension.
Yeah it is risky but the pirates have had pretty good luck with such moves. Cutch and Marte probably the biggest success and Jose “I’m not 40 years old” Tabata being the biggest failure. but if you get them ‘cheap’ now.. that 10 million you have to pay them to be a bench bat half a season might not be that expensive in 2022 like Jose’s ~4 million last year.
Avoid arbitration rates.
The player gets security in exchange for higher projected salaries.
The market is changing on speed based players and OF’s in general,teams are fearing paying for age 30+ seasons, Kemp and Ellsbury have scared teams I think., It is better to give them a little more through arbitration years than potential decline years. To get money on the market as an OF you have to be outstanding or very young.
Extensions for Polanco and Cole were my two biggest wishes for this off season. The Pirates never go after big-time free agents so their best course of action to remain competitive for an extended period of time is to lock up the homegrown talent. Yes the Bucs two biggest strengths in the farm system in terms of top level prospects are outfielders and pitchers so if neither Polanco or Cole get extended the team can potentially replace them in the future with only a slight drop off but getting Polanco a long term deal could prevent the team from having to spend exorbitantly to keep keep its outfield together in 2-4 years down the road or risk having to replace both Cutch and Polanco with unproven prospects in a very short period of time.
Unfortunately with no rumors (now or in previous years) of Cole extension talks, it seems he’s destined to hit the open market and get huge money to play in another uniform in the foreseeable future.
As much as I hate it.. there are no Cole extension rumors because it really isn’t a possibility. Unless Cole specifically tells Scott to talk about extensions Boras won’t even consider it. Hopefully he does stay but expect Cole to be hanging out with a west coast team with his brother in-law in 2020.
Bucs definetely have the best OF in baseball, but I doubt they win 98 games again. Still a playoff contender though easily.
Cole and Liriano are a strong 1-2, Niese should benefit from a better infield defense than what he got with the Mets, but Locke and Vogelsong would scare me if I was a Pirates fan.
Not to mention that I think they will miss Walker and Bastardo, and Kang is likely missing the first month. You can argue that they are better than St. Louis, but unfortunately they are likely playing in ANOTHER wild-card game come October.
with the OF depth they got.. not a requirement.. but they should definitely get this done.
He still has some issues to deal with but i think that is mostly in his head and with some more mlb experience i bet that clears up.
Beyond youth and rising market prices, another large factor is the player’s ability to make adjustments. If one can convince their club they are relatively “slump-proof” with their hitting/pitching/defensive mechanics, then this is the prime player to try and lock up before free agency tempts them to look elsewhere.
Guys a Bum, they should trade him to the White SOX for John Danks 🙂
A platoon of Garcia/Polanco and maybe they can live up to half the expectations that were set on them kidding aside Garcia L/R splits are not nearly as bad as Polanco.
Chicagobeersnob, Must not be too bad if you want him in a trade, Even for Danks.