Gregory Polanco Turns Down Pirates’ Seven-Year Offer
It was reported yesterday that Pittsburgh Pirates prospect Gregory Polanco turned down a seven-year contract that would have guaranteed Polanco just under $25 million and contained an additional three team options that could have turned the deal into a 10-year deal worth in the $50-60 million range. This makes Polanco the second player to have been offered a long-term deal taking him beyond his expected free agent season following the Houston Astros’ seven-year $23 million offer to George Springer shortly before the 2014 season started.
In both cases the prospect rejected the offer, and the team has then kept the player in the minors longer than expected if the player had accepted the deal in order to delay free agency and/or salary arbitration.
SI.com’s Cliff Corcoran wrote a good piece this morning on the trend to offer young players long-term contracts earlier and earlier in their careers. The deals agreed upon so far have almost entirely turned out to be bargains for the teams, so it seems clear that more prospects will receive offers like those made to Polanco and Springer.
The problem with the contracts offered to both Polanco and Springer is that they sought to buy out free agent seasons without enough total compensation. Somewhat more generous offers, say seven years at $26 million, for example, might find takers. With teams reaping such great rewards from these kinds of deals so far, we’re not going to see any more bargains for teams as dramatic as the Royals’ deal with Salvador Perez signed before the 2012 season.