By Jason Shetler
The Pirates and Gregory Polanco have agreed to a five-year extension in the mid-$30 million range, which will also include two options, this according to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports. Adam Berry, Pirates beat reporter for MLB.com, confirmed the report made by Passan.
Polanco signed on with the Pirates out of the Dominican Republic in 2009. A breakout year with the Low A West Virginia Power in 2012 resulted in him being the organization’s Minor League Player of the Year that season. Entering 2014, Polanco was the Pirates #1 prospect in the system. He had a mediocre rookie season that year, as he posted a .650 OPS. Last year, Polanco really scuffled offensively in the first half, posting an OPS of .653. His second half was much better with a .749 OPS. Polanco stole 27 bases, which was good for sixth most in the National League. Defensively, he recorded 13 outfield assists along with 11 Defensive Runs Saved. Polanco overall managed to be a two-win player (2.3 WAR).
Prior to his rookie call up in 2014, Polanco reportedly turned down a seven-year extension worth $25 million. The two sides began extension talks again in Spring Training of last year, but nothing materialized, so apparently the third time was the charm in getting an extension done. The dollar amount of the deal will be more than the guaranteed $31 million that Starling Marte is making on his extension. If Polanco is able to breakout and can put up the offensive numbers that Marte has, then the contract will end up being a very good bargain.