P2Daily: The Pirates Expected to Make a Serious Effort to Extend Ke’Bryan Hayes

The Pittsburgh Pirates have offered an extension to third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes, and are expected to make a serious effort to extend him, according to Jon Heyman.

Hayes currently has five years of control remaining, including the 2022 season. He’s under control through his age 29 season, which will take place in 2026.

At the moment, Hayes is coming off a decent rookie season, where his overall numbers were limited due to injury. He had a strong debut in one month at the end of the 2020 season, and the Pirates will hope for an overall performance closer to that going forward. It might make more sense for Hayes to wait on an extension and try to put up a stronger year this season, giving him more bargaining power.

The Pirates are taking an approach that is opposite of the one they’ve taken with outfielder Bryan Reynolds. They have Reynolds under team control through 2025, which is his age 30 season. These two situations aren’t a direct comparison — Hayes is two years younger, plays a more difficult position for the Pirates to fill, has strong defensive skills that should provide a solid base value throughout his extension, and is also not coming off a 5.5 WAR season.

Reynolds has been the subject of a lot of trade rumors, and very little extension talk. Looking at the differences, you could argue that the age difference is a factor, or the defensive value differences. It’s hard to ignore that Reynolds has more long-term value via trade, while Hayes has more long-term value under an extension with the Pirates.

I’m a fan of the idea to try and extend Hayes. I wouldn’t be against extending Reynolds, but that depends on if the Pirates intend to contend in 2023. In the case of Hayes, you could argue that the Pirates could have three winning seasons with him on the team, based on his current control. Extending him would extend their window, while also locking up a key position on the field, very similar to what the Rays did in the past with Evan Longoria.

And if Hayes is to be believed, that winning could start earlier than most of us on the outside expect.

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