Polanco receives long-term contract

From Mirror reports

The Pirates have agreed to a long-term contract extension with right fielder Gregory Polanco, according to multiple media reports late Sunday night.

The deal with Polanco reportedly is for five years and about $35 million of guaranteed money. The Pirates also have two additional club options, pushing the deal to more than $60 million over seven years if Polanco remains with the Bucs for the length of the deal through the 2023 season.

This extension covers the next two seasons, then buys out all three of Polanco’s arbitration years. The Pirates then can decide if they want to exercise the more expensive club options in 2022 and ’23.

The contract extension is similar to what the Bucs did with Andrew McCutchen and Starling Marte to buy out their arbitration years early on. In doing so, the Pirates gain a level of financial certainty with Polanco, regardless of performance on the field in the coming years.

The Pirates wound up saving tens of millions of dollars by signing McCutchen early on, and they hope to do the same with Marte. If Polanco performs at a high level in the coming years, this deal could keep him in Pittsburgh at a salary well below market value.

There is, on the flip side, a financial risk locking up so much guaranteed money if the 22-year-old Polanco does not live up to his potential.