The Pittsburgh Pirates and outfielder Gregory Polanco have "rekindled" discussions on a long-term extension, according to CBS Sports' Jon Heyman. Per Heyman, the "sides are aiming not to have discussions go long into the season." The 23-year-old is represented by Beverly Hills Sports Council.
The Pirates and Polanco engaged in extension talks last May, before Polanco had even made his major league debut. The proposed contract was a seven-year deal with three club options tacked on, and was to be worth in excess of $50 million. It's easy to see why Polanco's camp backed out, as a contract of that ilk would come with relatively minimal risk for Pittsburgh, while Polanco could be leaving quite a bit of money on the table.
Polanco was considered one of the top prospects in baseball entering last season, and got off to a hot start after making his big league debut in June. However, he stumbled over the remainder of the season, posting a final slash line of 235/.307/.343, with seven home runs, 14 stolen bases, and an 84 OPS+. Of course, that was just a 312 plate appearance sample, and he is easily talented enough to become an All-Star level producer in the very near future.
With Polanco playing alongside Andrew McCutchen and Starling Marte, the Pirates' outfield is among the best in baseball, and should be for the foreseeable future, with all three members currently in their 20's (McCutchen is the oldest at 28). The Pirates have already succeeded in locking up Mart and McCutchen. Marte was signed to a six-year, $31 million deal last spring, and could be a Pirate through the 2021 season, while McCutchen's bargain-bin six-year, $51.5 million contract runs through 2017, with a club option for 2018. The Pirates have also recently toyed with the idea of keeping McCutchen in Pittsburgh for the remainder of his career, considering a possible deal that pays him $25 million annually.