Jeff Passan from Yahoo Sports is reporting that Gregory Polanco and the Pirates have agreed to a five-year extension, with two club options. Passan says that the deal will guarantee Polanco at least “mid-$30M” and it should be announced this week. It will start in 2017, so if he sticks around for all seven years, he will be in Pittsburgh through the 2023 season. Ken Rosenthal has the details of the deal.
Source: Polanco five-year deal with #Pirates is for $35M. If both options are exercised, total value will be more than $60M.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) April 4, 2016
UPDATE 9:07 PM: Analysis from Tim Williams…
This is easily the biggest win of the day for the Pirates. Polanco looks like he’s on his way to a breakout season, and that’s not a reaction to his performance today, when he smoked a double at 109 MPH and a single at 112 MPH. Back in December, I detailed Polanco’s second half in 2015, noting his increase in hard hit balls, and how that trend could lead to a breakout this season. If that happens this year, then the Pirates would have been getting Polanco extended at just the right time.
Obviously with any extension, there’s the risk that the player doesn’t work out, which is something we saw with Jose Tabata. But there’s also the Andrew McCutchen/Starling Marte potential, where a huge value could be had. I think Polanco’s deal will end up being the latter, and it could look like a steal sooner than later.
The biggest thing here is the length Polanco is under control. The Pirates have him locked up through the 2023 season. For perspective, they could bring up Josh Bell this year, and if he never signs an extension, he could be eligible for free agency before Polanco. This now puts two-thirds of the current Pirates outfield under team control for the next six seasons.
I was planning on updating that December article on Polanco tomorrow night, but I guess that is getting moved up to tonight. I’ll have more thoughts and analysis in First Pitch.