Contract Talks Between Pirates and Gregory Polanco Have Been Put on Hold

Jon Heyman is reporting that contract talks between the Pittsburgh Pirates and outfielder Gregory Polanco have broken down and the two sides won’t discuss a contract extension until the off-season. As Heyman mentioned, this is the second time the two sides have discussed a long-term deal, but apparently the Pirates came up with a bigger offer this time. The talks ended with the main difference between the two sides being the salaries during the option years on the deal. Also of note from Heyman, he mentions that the contract would have been the biggest one given to a player with less than a year of service time.

Last week when word of the extension talks came out, we posted about the potential market value of a deal for Polanco, comparing it to the deals that Starling Marte and Christian Yelich signed, while also pointing out that Polanco hasn’t had a breakout season yet.

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EWS34

Interesting to see how this plays out. I hope the pressure doesn’t get to him.

pilbobuggins

Putting a hold on contract talks may not be a bad thing since polanco clearly has not shown an ability to hit mlb pitching yet. He certainly has the tools to do so and I think he will figure it out he just has not done so to this point.

Robert Reznik

Wonder if Gregory got insurance

pilbobuggins

Now that’s funny.: )

Jason Flower

speaking of AAA success, did anyone else notice the monster at bat Andrew Lambo had pinch hitting for Liriano on opening day? 12 pitch at bat. way to go Lambo.

FrankRestly

13 pitch I thought it was. Yes, I enjoyed every moment of it – reminded me of one of Marlon Byrd’s first at bat’s when he became a Pirate last year.

What was most impressive was his ability to cover both sides of the plate – down and away, up and in, really didn’t seem to matter where the ball was thrown, he was able to get wood on the ball.

Makes me wonder if he is using a lighter bat to improve hand speed.

NMR

Nah, he was just facing Kevin Gregg. 😉

RichardJarzynka

He has had two very good months at AAA; nothing more. Let’s see him prove himself, at least a little, after his .650 OPS with the Pirates last year and looking lost in the outfield.

Luke sutton

He had a very good 2012 in A ball, a decent stint in AA and a video game like 300 at bats in AAA. At least be honest while wanting him to prove more, ignoring his very good stints all along his progressions comes off as biased.

RichardJarzynka

He had a .762 OPS at AA. 300 at-bats at AAA are not enough to prove anything or to merit a long-term contract.

Luke sutton

But 200 average ones are enough to use to say he isnt worth an extension, even one that sees less money than Marte.

Andrew

I’d be interested to know at what point and what level of OPS is needed to merit a long term deal.

FrankRestly

Andrew,

http://espn.go.com/mlb/stats/team/_/stat/batting/year/2014

League wide OPS last year was .700 with numbers slightly higher in the AL than the NL because of the DH rule.

You have probably heard of the Mendoza line for batting average ( 0.200 or lower).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mendoza_Line

The major league record for a full season of at bats belongs to Rob Deer (.179 BA in 1991).

http://espn.go.com/chicago/mlb/story/_/id/6914054/chicago-white-sox-adam-dunn-saved-embarrassing-record

For OPS there is no namesake like Mendoza but the lowest OPS numbers last year (qualified ABs):

http://espn.go.com/mlb/stats/batting/_/year/2014/sort/OPS/order/false

You will notice the quantity of short stops in the bottom 20 (Cosart, Segura, Jeter, Simmons, Infante), so I don’t think you can put a hard number on it without regard to position played.

If we limit the query to outfielders:

http://espn.go.com/mlb/stats/batting/_/year/2014/position/of/sort/OPS/order/false

.700 or .650 with good speed seems to be a good cutoff. Many of the guys less than .700 are speed merchants (Hamilton, Martin, Revere) and kept for their out fielding defense and their ability to steal bases.

Andrew

I’m aware of all of this, just interested in why the Pirates front office, a seemingly intelligent group of people is trying to extended player and was trying too prior to last season, whose OPS in 300 at bats is deemed too low.

If Polanco truly cannot handled velocity, that seems to be a fatal flaw, the Pirates have Hit F/X they would know this, so why the extension talks?

RichardJarzynka

Better than .650 in the major leagues.

Andrew

So Billy Hamilton is getting extended?

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