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Saturday, December 3, 2022

More Details on Gregory Polanco’s Extension Offer

Ken Rosenthal has a few more details on Gregory Polanco’s extension offer from the Pirates. Rosenthal says that Polanco’s deal would have guaranteed $20-25 M, and adds the detail that the length and value of the contract would have hinged on whether he was Super 2 eligible.

As I’ve written a lot the last few weeks, and as I pointed out when evaluating Polanco’s extension, teams usually add a Super 2 clause to a deal where a player would receive more money if he were to become Super 2 eligible. Rosenthal’s $20-25 M figure makes you assume that the increase would be $5 M. That’s the same price that Chris Archer and Jose Quintana received for their extensions.

With that information, the $25 M figure seems low. I compared Polanco’s offer to the extensions of Andrew McCutchen and Starling Marte, noting that those two players received $25 M and $22 M respectively for their 0-6 seasons. Polanco would get more than those two if he was a Super 2 player, which means $25 M is low.

We can reasonably assume that Polanco will not be a Super 2 player, and that the Pirates will wait to call him up next month. I still maintain that $25 M is fair for his 0-6 years as a non-Super 2 player, and it seems that would be an upgrade over the original offer from the Pirates.

As for the rest of the offer, Rosenthal says that the deal would have guaranteed more than $50 M if his three option years were picked up. That means his three free agent years would be worth at least $25 M. Previously we heard that those years could make the deal as much as $60 M, which means those years would cost $35 M. That would be about $12 M per year, which might end up being a discount for the Pirates if Polanco pans out, but is right around market rate for the risk that you take on with such an extension.

There are still a lot of things we don’t know about Polanco’s offer. The only thing we do know is that he turned it down. With the disclaimer that we don’t have all of the information, I’d say that a $25 M guarantee, and $60 M overall would be fair in this deal, assuming Polanco doesn’t qualify as a Super 2 player. It seems that this would also be an upgrade over the original offer that Polanco turned down.

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Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.


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What am I missing here? If Polanco pans out, $12M for each of three FA years won’t be “maybe a discount” it will be robbery. And what risk of the Pirates justifies any discount in FA years? They can just walk away from the options if Polanco is not worth the price. Honestly, I feel like the Pirate’s are trying to take advantage of a kid that’s never had money….


Well if every kid that’s never had money before were taken advantage of by being guaranteed $25 or $30 million, poverty would disappear overnight.
Seriously, let’s do away with the “taking advantage of” angle and just realize this is a negotiation. Yes the Bucs came in low, as they should to open the conversation. Polanco rejected the first offer, as he should, to see how much more they’ll offer. Now they’re actually in serious discussions (hopefully).
As they say, that first $30 million means a lot more to you than the 2nd or 3rd $30 million, and that applies whether you’re dirt poor, middle class or well to do.


I am in complete agrrement with stickyweb here. The only way for small market teams to compete is to sign young talent early. Take for instance marte’s recent deal for 22 mil., what hapens if marte either gets hurt ( which he seems to do, not a bad thing he just plays hard)or flames out or a combo of the two? Answer,the pirates still pay him. If he does pan out he is still set for life(don’t tell me anybody could’nt live high on the hog with 22mil in their pocket)at the end of the contract if he reaches his potential he will be at the perfect age for a team dumb enough to give him a mega contract for ten years, same thing with polanco and cutch for that matter, they will all be the perfect age for mega deals that turn ugly after a couple of years. With that said can anybody still make a decent argument as to why baseball does not need a salary cap?


I’m not saying the Pirates are evil capitalists or anything along those lines. I’m just saying that the free agent buyout option years probably aren’t enough to get Polanco to sign even when you discount the uncertainty of him producing. I anticipate a lot of inflation in baseball salaries in next 5-8 years and I bet a lot of agents do as well.


You’re probably right about agents thinking there’ll be significant inflation in salaries and it could affect these types of deals. It will be interesting to see how Polanco’s deal ends up, assuming they make one. Of course the money will increase somewhat, but I’d bet at least 1 FA year will be dropped and he’ll give them 2 options max.


You’re not missing anything. 12 miilion probably won’t even be worth 1.5 WAR in 2020-21.


I’m thinking that it will take 25 million guaranteed and probably close to 45 in options years guaranteed to get it done. So I’m thinking that would bring total value of contract to 70 million dollars when you factor in option years. No way in hell Polanco signs for 3 option years worth only 25 million. I understand a lot can go wrong on Pirates side, injuries etc. But assuming Polanco is anything near what he projects to be how much do you think a 1 WAR will be worth in 2020 or so if its worth 5-6 million now? 8-9 million? who knows.


Tim, I’m confused. Are you saying there were 2 offers to Polanco that he turned down? Or are you saying these new details are different than the details originally reported? I only thought one offer has been made and rejected. Thanks.

Scott Kliesen

Pirates brass needs to sweeten the pot in those option years to get this done. Clearly low balling him if these figures are accurate due to fact baseball salaries will increase significantly between now and 2021!

Nick Rexilius

Hey Tim, can you check your DM on Instagram? Thanks


Polanco worth considerably more than those option years- and him and his agent know it.

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