Pirates Still Discussing Extension With Gregory Polanco

Enrique Rojas of ESPNDeportes.com (via MLBTR) reports that the Pittsburgh Pirates are still discussing a long-term extension with outfielder Gregory Polanco. About a month ago, it was reported that the Pirates offered Polanco a $25 M guaranteed deal, which would have bought out control of three of his free agent years. The deal reportedly had a total value of between $50-60 M.

Rojas quotes Polanco (in Spanish), who says that the two sides are still talking, and that his agent is talking to the Pirates. I’m not sure how accurate the translation is, but he appears to have said he didn’t want to take the first offer. That’s just standard in any negotiation.

Considering that Polanco is interested in the extension, and the Pirates are also interested, I wouldn’t be surprised to see this deal eventually get done. There were previous reports that the $25 M figure was only if Polanco would have been Super Two eligible. Based on other contracts, Polanco should get at least $25 M guaranteed for his 0-6 years, without Super Two status. If the Pirates offered him a similar deal now, without the Super Two clause, that would represent a raise from their originally reported offer.

Tim Williams

Author: Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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  • deacs

    They gotta get this done. That man brings so much to the table. I realize they can always do this a year from now but I imagine the longer he plays the higher his value gets.

    • http://@gwbicster gwbicster

      Agreed. He’s only begun to scratch the surface. You can easily see the affect he’s had on the lineup already and the others batting around him.

  • PitPirates

    I wonder what this outfield will look like in 10 years. You could see Josh Bell, Austin Meadows, and Harold Ramirez or Starling Marte, Andrew McCutchen, and Gregory Polanco. It all depends on who they trade and who they sign long term.

    • Y2JGQ2

      in ten years you won’t see a 37 year old McCutchen, 35 Year old Marte……that’s as close to impossible as I can think of

    • Stargell_Stars

      Even Mel Rojas, Jr. is starting to show some signs that he’s legit.

  • bucsws2014

    If they really feel Polacno is going to be another Cutch, then $60 mil should be about right to get 2 years of FA without Super Two, so they’re pretty close, especially if they want to make half that guaranteed.

    Personally, I’d like to see Polanco get something out of the infield with authority this week. As much as he had a great first week, his second week is a dud. Yes, pitchers will adjust and he’ll adjust back, yada yada yada.

    Therefore, I’m fine waiting a year, or at least a few months, before committing. Even if it costs more. Heck Hurdle was pretty much a dud himself. Billy Beane. Greg Jeffries. There are many who excelled at all levels in the minors and fizzled up here. Sign him now and you’re risking $25 mill in guaranteed money if he flops. Wait a year to be sure and it might cost you $10 mill more.

    I’m hoping in the next week or two he shows up like George Springer. Then I’ll be happy with whatever decision the Bucs FO makes.

    • Y2JGQ2

      Greg Jeffries didn’t fizzle, he actually had a pretty decent career

      • bucsws2014

        You weren’t a Mets fan. At the time I was. Much more was expected. Much more.

        • freddylang

          People bought wayyyy into the Jefferies hype in the NY media. He was a very solid player and accrued a 20 WAR career…he retired at 32 so he had more left in him as a role player probably. He was not a big guy and not more than an average defender…this was known before he made it to the majors..765 ops and a 15 HR/20SB type. 107 OPS+ Pretty good for a middle infielder…problem was he was not a good 2B and he was solid at 1B and LF…where in that era roided up players were putting up monster power numbers

    • csnumber23

      The kid is hitting .323 and an on base of .397 and you’re complaining?? You think he is going to hit .400 every week? I mean, some people are just never satisfied! The kid is going to be a star and if they can lock him up long term, then the sooner the better!

      • bucsws2014

        That’s worse than Billy Hamilton’s last two weeks. Billy Hamilton would be fine, but that’s not what we were supposed to be getting is what I’m saying. Again, a few months doesn’t really matter much in terms of getting a contract done.

        Btw, since June 10 – Polanco’s first game – Hamilton’s line is .375/.400/.589/.989. Think the Reds should be giving him $60 mill already?

        • csnumber23

          All I will say is “if you can’t see the talent this kid has from watching him play” then I don’t know what you are watching! Billy Hamilton is a fine player and will get paid eventually too but he won’t compare to Polanco when it’s all said and done.

          Sometimes you pay based on the talent you see. If they wait a year or two and he has already arrived at an All-Star game, how much do you think it will take to lock him up then?

          • bucsws2014

            As I stated more than once in this thread, I don’t see the need to rush to get this done right now. I said I’d wait months or into the offseason, even next spring. Never even hinted at waiting two years.

    • Andrew
      • bucsws2014

        Springer started slow, then picked up, with power as advertised. His May was 1.032 OPS. Driving balls all over the place and out of parks. He’s having a bad month in June and still over .750 OPS because he’s still hitting gaps and HRs.

        My point is not to compare the two as Springer is more Pedro than Cutch. It’s simply to point out that this past week GP has been more Billy Hamilton than Darryl Strawberry. Infield hits, bloops, etc. I’d like to see him start hitting gaps and barrel up more.

        When you’re talking $25 mill+ in guaranteed money, I’d like to feel more comfortable. Honestly, if you were to figure out present value, you’re not talking a ton of money to wait till later in the season or even next year.

        • Andrew

          Maybe players shouldn’t be evaluated based on home runs and OPS in a week or even month samples. While this isn’t sound projection, Polanco 70 PAs equla a 4 plus WAR over 600 PAs, while being a minus defender because of two blown plays. Over a season that would be a top 20-25 outfielder in the majors. $30 million over 6 years, were do I sign. If you are disappointed by this I think you might have unrealistic expectations.

          • bucsws2014

            I don’t think we’re talking a Marte contract. We’re talking a Cutch contract. As I understand it from the original post, what’s being discussed is cost certainty through three years of FA for $60 mil with $25 mil of that guaranteed.

            • Andrew

              I see your point but I think the Pirates will need to guarantee more upfront than $25 million especially if they are asking for three option years, they probably need to lose an option year. Polanco comes with a much higher prospect pedigree than Marte or even McCutchen. Marte had a year more of service time and received $31 million guaranteed and can earn up to $57 million if the options are picked up.

  • Y2JGQ2

    how would that represent a raise?

  • Y2JGQ2

    Getting paid the same amount for less potential gain really isn’t a raise, 25 million is 25 million

  • Spa City

    Just my suggestion… 10 years, $100 million.

  • Spa City

    Polanco looks like Darryl Strawberry. He swings like Strawberry. He runs like Strawberry and hits like Strawberry. Hopefully he can mirror Strawberry’s career… at least the Mets portion of it.

    • freddylang

      He is faster and more filled out than strawberry. Less power for now. I think his swing looks a lot like David Ortiz although I can understand the Straw references. Lets hope he doesn’t like to snort like Strawberry.

      • Andrew

        The Pirates are only looking to control Polanco through his age 29 season.

        • bucsws2014

          Just so we’re all talking about the same thing, he’s 22 now (23 in Sept), so six years plus 3 years of FA would put him at 31. That was the original offer of ~$60 mil which included $25 mil guaranteed.

          There wouldn’t be much incentive to only tie him up for 7 years since they have control of him for six of those.

          • Spa City

            Six years of team control is a myth. The Pirates control Polanco for the rest of 2014 plus six additional years, so in reality we already have 7 years of Polanco’s career. An extension should either cover at least 8 years (including 2014) or it should be team-friendly compared to his likely arbitration salaries. Otherwise there is no reason to assume the risk of being tied to a long-term salary.
            My suggestion is a 10 year, $100 million contract. That would ensure Polanco is a Pirate throughout the peak of his career, it would give Polanco an immediate $9.5 million raise, and it would mean we are paying him to be worth fewer than 2 WAR per year. Everybody wins!

            • bucsws2014

              I don’t think you’re going to get him for the cost of 2 WAR per year. Unless he’s using the same agent as Cutch.

              My math was off by a year above since I added 9 to 22, but as he’s already playing in his year 22 season, I should’ve only added 8. So if you cut the FA years from 3 to 2, then Andrew was right, an eight year deal pays him through his year 29 season (he’d turn 30 just as it expired).

              So eight years is good idea, although everything I’m seeing suggests GP is eligible for arb for the 2017 season, not 2018.

              I just ran some numbers through a trade value calculator. If Polanco was averaging 5 WAR in each of his arb years, that’s $41 mil right there for just those three years.

              So working around those three years something like this should be acceptable for 8 years (based on $5 mil per WAR):
              2014 $1.5
              2015 $3.0
              2016 $4.5
              2017 (arb1) $9.2
              2018 (arb 2) $13.7
              2019 (arb 3) $18.3
              2020 (FA1) $20.8
              2021 (FA2) $22.5

              That would be a $93.5 mil deal with a projected $104.5 mil excess value over the contract length assuming a 3 WAR this year and an average of 5 WAR from 2015-21. I think most Bucs fans assume he’ll do better than 5 WAR during some/most of those years. If we increased the value of 1 WAR, those numbers would go up and GP would be the Bucs first $100 million player.

              I can hear some of you gasp. But those three arb years are the real value and you’d pretty much have to make the two FA years worth more than that. It’s still a bargain.

        • freddylang

          True Andrew. It’s not like the Bucs eed to worry about how Polanco plays when he is 34-35 and getting overpaid by Boston, the Yankees, or the Angels. They just need 7-8 great years out of him.

  • leadoff

    I have no idea what the price for Polanco should be. IMO the key to a deal would be the price for the option years, also they should be club options only.