When the MLB top prospects lists came out it was surprising to no one in baseball that the Pittsburgh Pirates had a man near the top. Outfield prospect Gregory Polanco has been a staple in the top 100 for his entire professional career and is certainly going to have a chance to prove how good he can be very soon. Because he might have that chance during the 2014 season, it matters even more that the Pirates have remained loyal to his potential.
There have been outfield prospects that the Pirates could have signed, starting with Marlon Byrd who many thought the Pirates might entertain returning in 2014. They didn’t sign him or a sizable deal with anyone else on the free agent market however for one main reason. They did not want to risk blocking Polanco’s assent to the MLB outfield where he will likely man a spot alongside Andrew McCutchen in 2014 at some point.
In the current landscape of MLB, there are a lot of teams that want to stack their talent with plenty of players. This is a good thing because it gives them depth going into the spring camp season. It can be a negative thing however when it comes to giving their prospects a chance to come of age and contribute for real at the MLB level.
The Pirates have made it clear with their non-moves that they want a spot open for Polanco immediately so that he can take it when he is ready. Whether that is Opening Day or sometime in July, the spot will be there and Polanco can rest assured in that fact.