The Pirates have launched exploratory talks with at least four players about possible long-term deals, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports on Twitter. Jon Heyman of MLB Network had previously reported that the club intended to explore deals of this kind with some young talent.
Among the targets are outfielder Bryan Reynolds, middle infielder Kevin Newman, and starter Joe Musgrove — all relatively youthful, quality MLB players. The Bucs have also approached top prospect Ke’Bryan Hayes, per the report.
As we discussed when the initial news arose, this is hardly surprising in the full context. The Bucs, like many lower-budget organizations, have long relied upon early-career extensions to achieve value. And there are indications that there’s a broader push to lock up relatively inexperienced players around the game, though we’ve yet to see an onrush of dealmaking.
There are some interesting elements here, though. Hayes is an especially intriguing target since he has yet to appear in the big leagues. That’s no longer a barrier to an extension, as we’ve seen several such accords, but it’s also not exactly commonplace.
Most recently, Luis Robert lined up on a $50MM deal — a record-setting number for a pre-MLB player. But he has risen to the ranks of the the most elite prospects in the game. And he had already secured a huge bonus ($26MM) when he signed as an amateur. Suffice to say, Robert had ample leverage.
Hayes is generally regarded as one of the fifty or so best prospects in the game, so he’s not to Robert’s level of future expectations. Perhaps a better comparable is Scott Kingery, who was promised $24MM in his agreement with the Phillies two years back. It’s arguable the market has moved north since that time, so Hayes would be justified in viewing that as a starting point.
Also of note: the lack of talks — so far as is known publicly — between the Pirates and star first baseman Josh Bell. The Bucs already agreed to a $4.8MM arbitration salary with the 27-year-old, who is coming off of a breakout 2019 season. Bell would surely cost a far sight more than any of the players listed above.
There is a reason all of the teams are rushing to do this before the next CBA. Taking the guaranteed money is usually the smart move. But I’d be cautious about accepting a deal right now if I had any faith in my own staying power in the MLB.
If I were a player, I’d be curious why owners seem to be so anxious to hand out the extensions. It would seem to signal a buy-low strategy, meaning they believe the next CBA will be more favorable toward the players. As a White Sox fan, I’m happy the players agreed and are locked in for several more years, but I don’t think I would have accepted an extension if I was in their shoes.
Older players are getting pushed out for younger cheaper ones. The MLBPA will always fight against that. They will either work to get more of those guys roster spots or work to make younger players salaries much higher to even the field again.
If you’re getting offered $70m before playing a game in the MLB, take it. But if you’re getting offered 5 years/$21m I’d be really curious as to why.
You say that, but it’s not as easy of a decision as you might think to weigh millions in today’s guaranteed money for a potential, not guaranteed bigger pay day in the future.
Josh Bell struggled mightily after the All Star Break. He has to prove 2019 wasn’t a fluke though he also had a solid 2017 season.
Like Laveon Bell.
I think its more-so that they see trading him next offseason as a vital part of their rebuild than keeping him.around longterm
Agreed he fell apart last year, but hes more likely to have a good career than not overall
Also teams aren’t in any hurry to extend a DH. Boras is his agent. If there was a market for him he would have been traded already. Probably will be moved this deadline or next off season if there is a market, he is hitting well, and the trade value is right.
Pirates probably want to extend these guys before they have a season like Bell did and price themselves out of the Pirates payroll.
As a lifelong Pirates fan I have lived through a lot, but nothing as unbearable as watching Joe Musgrove pitch…
If that is who you zero in on, then you really know very little about that rotation.
Please forgive me, Mr. Van Benschoten…
If you are digging that name out to save face, I am not impressed. Yes he sucked.
and many, many others, at the risk of causing nausea.
Musgrove is not even remotely the problem.
Considering the last 25+ years of Pirate baseball has fielded less than stellar teams I am sure we can find worse pitchers than Musgrove, whom where more unbearable.
And Pittsburgh can consider itself lucky there were worse pitchers outside of its organization. Daniel Cabrera comes to mind
Might want to check that Josh Bell link
Josh Bell was traded to the Orioles and now plays 3B. He’s still a switch-hitter though.
When you have a core with as much success as the Pirates do, you gotta lock that down.
Bell will be on the trade block a year from now. Gotta keep that payroll from skyrocketing above $60 million.
Bells agent is Boras. I see him being traded at the deadline. Last season was not the real bell. The second half stats were.
Boras seems like a nice guy. It will work out.
Pittsburgh will prohibit gatherings of 1,000 or more as San Jose does now. That means the Pirates games will go on as scheduled.
Being as cheap as they are, the Pirates probably offer two trouser buttons and a gum wrapper. Maybe they’ll throw in a voucher for two at Golden Corral, but that’ll be it.
Newman and Reynolds should think twice before accepting a lowball offer from the Pittsburgh Cheapskates.
Musgrove I like. Reynolds might want to wait for the new CBA. Not convinced Newman is the real deal or that Hayes will hit in the major leagues. He’s still pretty young though. They shouldn’t rush him up this year.
Yeah, what a bum that Newman guy is! A SS, hitting .308/.353/.446 with good defense and a 2.4 fWAR clearly ain’t good enough for the mighty Pirates! Send in Cole Tucker! Forget about his .211/.266/.361 slash line and focus on his cool hair. Who wouldn’t like to see that flowing around the bases?
Who could possibly be skeptical of a guy like Kevin Newman and his stellar minor league career?
Get real. The dude is 27 and put up his best professional season in the major leagues. Skepticism is a reasonable thought.
Not sure if you’re bad at math or exaggerating his age to make your point, but Newman just turned 26.
First off, Newman is 26 years old. Why do you have to lie?
And what does his (good) Minor League career have to do with his MLB stats? Looks like you need to reach in order to get your intellectually dishonest point across. That “best professional season in the Major Leagues” was also Newman’s rookie season. Oh, I forgot – that means he’s basically washed up…
If Newman is that horrible, then why are the Pirates trying to extend him way ahead of time? Maybe they know more than you do.
Meh, I’d be a bit weary of Newman. He was in the bottom 5 percentile of exit velo and hard hit rate. He was much better at second base than shortstop. So I’d like to see him have another season before giving him an extension.
Honest question. Every time I see O’Neill Cruz play, I’m impressed, but admittedly, I haven’t seen a great deal of him. Is he the real deal? Is he close? And how does this all play out with three shortstops?
Oh lord he’s 26 and 217 days. I’m so sorry to offend you sensitive Pirates!
Why did they extend Jose Tabata? Did they know more than me? Why would we even debate any transactions in baseball? Was the Chris Archer trade a good deal? Why should anyone have said it was a bad move? Do you see how stupid your statement is now? If we can’t debate if a deal is a good move— what the hell are we doing here?
Newman’s been an inconsistent minor leaguer who was fairly old for a rookie. It was a good year—but there’s a reason for some skepticism. Skepticism doesn’t mean he’s a shoo in to regress either. It’s just being reasonable when you look at Newman’s professional career.
Look at the Statcast data and tell me why I shouldn’t be skeptical. And please do stop with your nonsense.
@mlb1225 a pirates fan with a reasonable outlook here. The rest of you guys are trying to crucify anyone with skepticism of Kevin Newman. You have the guy for 5 more years. I didn’t see anyone say he was guaranteed to suck. He needs to prove it again. He isn’t 21-22 years old. He’s 26 and 217 days (I wouldn’t want to be wrong on the age with the crowd around here) You have control of him for 5 more seasons.
What is the harm in waiting? Don’t jump down somebody’s throat for being skeptical. The underlying numbers make me skeptical of why an extension is necessary right now. You control his prime years (27 through 31) already.
He hit 64 RBI as a leadoff hitter, scored 61 runs and walked off four games after starting the season on the bench. That low exit velocity seems to work pretty well for him. Baseball is not only about home runs, unless you’re Rob Manfred.
I don’t think you understand exit velocity. A hard single can have the same exit velocity as a home run. The point is that Kevin Newman didn’t hit a lot of balls hard. Typically when you don’t hit balls hard your numbers regress long term. Hence the skepticism.
The low exit velocity lead to a good season last year—that’s it. Low exit velocity isn’t a good thing. You certainly can’t tell me it is. If he’ll have the same success with a similar batting profile again is to be determined. But most would assume he would not.
He could also hit the ball harder this year and improve—I’m certainly not saying it’s impossible. But if you aren’t a little skeptical—You probably have homer glasses on.
Yeah, if the facts don’t support your claims you start projecting. One can be a good hitter without top exit velocity. I think you’re the one who has to educate himself/herself on the topic.
And this was an exercise in futility. Think what you want my guy—it’ll play out on the baseball field. Bookmark the page and come back in September and we’ll see where we’re at.
Yeah that’s what I was getting at. No need to extend Newman even if he isn’t a product of the juiced ball.
He’s already controlled past 30.
Waldfee honestly cracks me up. You’re defensively doubling down on bull crap.
Your points to defend this guy are humorous. He scored 61 runs and had 64 RBIs. Is that supposed to be impressive? Before I throw cold water on the stats themselves—they aren’t even impressive from a counting stand point. The guy had 531 PA’s. 61 runs scored is not impressive at all.
Scoring runs is a function of who hits behind you. Obviously I don’t knock him for that number—but you would think if you were trying to make a point about how good a guy was—you would at the very least present statistics that helped your case.
Let me help you defend him—Kevin Newman is a gap hitter who hits the ball to all fields. He has excellent bat to ball skills and doesn’t strikeout.
That’s at least an argument for him.
Cruz is a young prospect with a high ceiling. Frame that projects more power to come. Not ready for the show. Flip a coin, he could be a star or a cheap utility guy. Majority of SS can play anywhere. You have to be athletic and have strong arm to play SS. So they can be moved to 3b if they have enough power. 2b if their arm is a lil weaker. C.F. if they are fast enough. Can always be traded. Too many SS is a good problem to have.
Them considering Hayes is a great sign. Must see ways to improve his hitting. He’s been ready defensively for 4 years, just can’t hit.
Sign anybody for the right deal. I don’t see any of these guys as priorities. Reynolds is a nice player but unless he starts hitting 30 hr’s I wouldn’t be that concerned to lock him up.
I was thinking exactly of Tabata! Had one decent year, signs an extension, was terrible the rest of the way. How about that Gregory Polanco extension? So far 3 years of trash…. likely followed by 2 years of trash (expecting someone to say “But he had that one good week where he hit the ball hard and looked good!”) How about the Hurdle and Huntingdon extensions?? Everyone knew Hurdle had lost the clubhouse and needed to go rather than stay 3 more years. It makes sense looking around the league seeing good talented young guys getting team friendly extensions. Kevin Newman? The jury should still be out on that one. Pirate fans had given up on him after 2018. Now you love him after a decent season. I’d not be ready to throw money at him yet..
Eerily similar to Tabata. Both players had very similar SB, strikeout and walk rates with higher BABIP’s. Newman had some more HR’s but that may or may not be attributed to the juiced ball.
Newman certainly hasn’t showed that power in the minor leagues and he’s of course 5 years older than Tabata was at that time. If Jose Tabata isn’t a cautionary tale for why you should wait to see more from Kevin Newman—I’m not so sure how I could convince you otherwise.
It’s a risk that the Pirates don’t have to take. Sign Bryan Reynolds, Musgrove or even extend Mitch Keller if you have a burning desire to take on some risk. There’s guys to gamble on with higher rewards on the Pirates.
Bookmark your homophobic slurs when you lose arguments, Jbigz.
Waldfee is correct. If the facts don’t support your claims you start projecting. When you were wrong about Castellanos’ abilities you never owned it. Instead you told people to shut down their accounts. And you’re making a poor presumption that a guy with a low exit velocity can’t be successful. Waldfee said you CAN be a good hitter. Waldfee did not say you WILL succeed.
Nevermind your exercise in futility. We’re sure you don’t know what exercise is.
Lmao. I’m laughing because I’ve seen you go back on posts months later to brag about being correct about something. Now you come in to write more nonsense. You truly are a narcissist.
I’ll give you some parting advice—You can’t simultaneously be a sensitive little guy and like to toss out insults to others.
And WTF is that last statement? It isn’t remotely funny. I can appreciate a decent insult but Jesus Christ you can’t deliver. I’d recommend stopping.
Go argue with Strike Four—that’s a match made in heaven. I have nothing for you. Goodbye my sad little dude.
WAJGH is a buffoon. Did you even read the exchange? I’m thinking you have some kind of issue with Jbigz12 because waldfee is 100% wrong.
Jbigz clearly said “Low exit velocity isn’t a good thing. You certainly can’t tell me it is. If he’ll have the same success with a similar batting profile again is to be determined.“
Stop coming out of left field and making things up because of a personal issue with another poster. It doesn’t sound like myself or Jbigz dismissed Newman. It seems we were being skeptical of an extension given the data.
Bigz you have nothing for anyone except for a silly take behind a computer. There is nothing sensitive here; if I am pointing out that you tend to reach low for a homophobic slur, that’s a YOU problem. You come here pretending to have a baseball take and all it is is a baseball attack. The narcissist is you.
So you don’t know what exercise is? You do know recommendations and they typically suck. If Bets is defending you, and you two might be the same account anyway, that’s a problem. Using your words, you should delete your account.
Bets – this buffoon has owned you the day you walked in here. Wadfree isn’t wrong, because guys who hit the ball very hard into shifts and take outs aren’t helping their team.
Would it be great to have high exit velocity? Yes. Hitting the ball hard would be great. But do not tell me Wadfree was 100% wrong when a guy can sneak by with low exit velocity and find success by “hitting them were they ain’t”. Afterall, that’s the name of the game.
But sure, hit into shifts and take outs. Some guys won’t adjust and won’t succeed. Left field would be a good place for a lefty hitter to shoot for if everyone on the infield is stacked on the right side. You skeptical of that idea?
You and Jbigz can keep watching baseball behind a website with numbers while I’ll watch games on TV. Until then the both of you can’t articulate a proper argument with much thought. Using Jbigz’ logic, you should stay on the sidelines on this one.
Trim “lied about changing my account name” Reaper. I’ll take that accusation of using two accounts with a real grain of salt. Which ya know would be hypocritical at best coming from you—even if it was true.
Can you succeed by slapping the ball to all fields? Yeah, trim you sure can. But you know what else? Very few do.
Newman hasn’t done that consistently in his minor league career. He also doesn’t hit the ball hard or you know the thing you hate the most— take a walk. Which is why an extension is too early in mine and it appears quite a few other fans view.
But yes the great Trim Reaper who watches every game is back! Continuing to blow smoke about how much baseball you watch! Even though You’ve probably seen about 5 Kevin Newman AB’s! Tell me how those 5 at bats you saw with your own 2 eyes are better than a season’s worth of stats! Cause I sure do believe it!
Wasn’t Newman one of 2 In Pirates uniform to be mentioned in the rookie of the year? Huh, how about that
Mustygrove is the worst candidate of them all. 4.4 era? Gag
All the Pirates are essentially doing is trying to buy out arbitration years and controll salary. It’s basically a win for player and team as team gets controll over payroll and player gets guaranteed money.
If trying to extend Hayes now I wonder if they are planning to put him in the opening day roster and this would eliminate any service time issues.
Hayes is the one one of those four I really want a deal to get done with simply to have him up on opening day. Even if he takes awhile offensively to adjust to MLB his defense over Moran’s is a net gain versus what value the team might lose on offense, especially with a shaky pitching staff.
I hope they dont pull a huntington and send hayes to Indianapolis. He should start. Grest glove and he will hit. Tucker should be at short. Move Neumann to second. Bell gets traded at the deadline and put Craig at first. Rebuild starts.
I don’t see Hayes hitting any higher than 6th in the lineup. His defense will be the trademark of his game. If he hits .260 BA .500 OBS 15 HRs and 65 RBIs with WAR of 3, that’s all we can ask for with a gold glove yearly
Offensively those numbers would mirror his father’s usual production so that would not be terrible.
I did go off of Daddy’s stats and seems like his sons ceiling would be the numbers I posted. I see him hitting less than the numbers I gave and WAR will probably close to what I gave. I really see his WAR being on the positive side of the spectrum
Why would any player want a long term contract with a team that refuses to put a quality product on the field? I understand the lure of financial security for three generations, but these guys could most likely get that kind of money from pretty much any team, no? At some point, don’t you think a human being gets tired of losing?
Kind of hard for them to “get that money from pretty much any team” when their current team controls them. I imagine the Hayes offer would be around $30 million over six years. Sure, he could come in and mash for 2-3 years and earn way more in arbitration, but we’re talking $30 million guaranteed.
It’s either sign this contract with us and get guaranteed money or play 4 5 6 years, hope you are a good player, hope you don’t get injured and if all that goes well you will get to hit free agency as a 30 year old.
It’s simple: young players want guaranteed money and certainty, while small market teams must maximize value in order to build a consistent competing team. Too many fans fail to appreciate how economics and analytics (i.e. money ball) work, which is odd coming from all of you who spend so much time and interest with baseball, even commenting and reading comments on one of the biggest baseball nerd sites.
Well said homer. I’ve always wondered if these nerds work. They all speak out their posterior. Mindless garbage
To be fair though, I am also a baseball nerd. I am just perplexed that other nerds are so clueless when they spend so much time thinking about this hobby of ours.
The Pirates actually have some talent on that club. They just need to do a better job of rounding out the roster in the coming years — locking up a core group of players would be a good place to start.
Very thin pitching staff, in the outfield and behind the plate. No help from the minors on any of those three fronts. Sometimes you have an aligning of the stars and things coming together but most often, it’s .500, at best
The interesting storylines here are with the minor leaguers pushing to come up. At 3rd. At 1st. And with three shortstops
They have a lot of average talent. How many pirates are starting on the Yankees Dodgers Astros. Starting pitching is the most important thing. You usually need at least 3 guys who are 3 era guys to be a contender. There is some talent in the minors. They will probably have top 12 picks in the next 2 or 3 drafts so that will help. They have 4 decent trade chips to cash in on. Better times are ahead but I wouldn’t be too excited about the current roster.
The Pirates should initiate sale of their weak pathetic team which is an embarrassment
dynasty in boston
Do they players have to buy their own uniforms and equipment?
-Signed Vern, Stand By Me