The Twins are on the verge of a contract extension with shortstop Jorge Polanco that will keep him under team control for seven seasons, with five of those years guaranteed. MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez and ESPN’s Jeff Passan were among the first to provide details Thursday:
Sources: The Twins and Jorge Polanco are nearing finalization of a contract extension.— Jesse Sanchez (@JesseSanchezMLB) February 14, 2019
Jose Ramirez and Kolten Wong each received somewhere in the $25M range. Jorge Polanco's deal should exceed that. It will buy out one pre-arbitration year, three arbitration season and cover up to three free agent seasons for the 25-year-old. @JesseSanchezMLB was on the news.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) February 14, 2019
The Twins are expressing their faith in Polanco less than a year after he received a 80-game PED suspension for using Stanozolol. Obviously, they were confident enough in the .288/.345/.427 slash line he posted from July 2 through the end of the season to lock him in for the long term.
The 25-year-old has played in more than 80 games just once over five big-league seasons, but he’s been a solid hitter throughout, slashing .272/.329/.420 while averaging 13 homers and 14 steals per 162 games. He has also generally performed well as a defender, but he was rather average last season, as he posted -1 defensive run saved.
With this new deal, it’s fair to say that Polanco now ranks as a key member of Minnesota’s young core — one that is intriguing but also quite polarizing, seeing as it’s headlined by Miguel Sano and Byron Buxton, both of whom had to be optioned to the minors last summer as they struggled to get going.