According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports, the Pittsburgh Pirates recently offered top prospect Gregory Polanco a seven-year deal that would have guaranteed him nearly $25 million. The deal also included three option-years. Unfortunately for the Pirates, Polanco didn’t accept the proposed deal.
There are two ways to view this deal. For Polanco, this would have given him nearly $25 million guaranteed, providing him some financial security. For the Pirates, they would have saved a lot of money down the road as Polanco started to get deeper into his arbitration years and eventually free agency.
We have seen teams offer young players contract extensions despite having very little, or none at all, experience at the MLB-level. The Tampa Bay Rays signed third baseman Evan Longoria to a six-year, $17.5 million deal just days after he was promoted to the MLB. It’s simply a way to give a young player security and for the organization to save money.
It is no surprise, however, that Polanco didn’t accept the offer. If his career progresses the way all the experts expect it to, he’ll be earning way more than that soon enough. The report that the Pirates offered him this potential 10-year deal does prove one thing though. That general manager Neal Huntington lied when he said keeping Polanco in the minors had no financial reasoning behind it.
If Polanco would have accepted the deal that bought out his arbitration years, the Pirates would have brought him to the big leagues. Since he didn’t accept it, he’s still spending time at Triple-A until the mid-June ‘Super Two’ deadline passes.
Another thing this could do, however, is give Polanco some leverage regarding when he gets called up. If he chooses to, he could take legal action against the Pirates, claiming they are keeping him in the minor leagues just to avoid paying him extra money down the road.
It’s tough to blame Polanco for not taking the deal, as he obviously thinks he can make more money in arbitration than he could with this guaranteed deal. But, it’s also tough to blame the Pirates for taking a chance and hoping Polanco would somehow accept the offer.
Nonetheless, the Pirates will promote Polanco in a little over a month and we will finally get to see what all the hype is about.