The Pirates attempted to discuss a long-term contract with outfielder Gregory Polanco prior to his major league debut last year and CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports that the two sides have reopened extension talks.
Polanco was previously offered a seven-year contract with three club options, a deal which would have maxed out north of $50 million. It’s hard to pass up on guaranteed money, but you can understand why he turned it down, as the deal would have been extremely club-friendly and he stands to make much more in the long-term if he fulfills his promise. New numbers are being discussed this time around, but it’s unclear if there will be a resolution by Opening Day.
Polanco remains under team control through 2020, so there’s not a huge sense of urgency to get this done right away. But the Pirates have been aggressive in locking up their talented outfielders. Andrew McCutchen is signed through 2017 with a club option for 2018 while Starling Marte is signed through 2019 with club options for 2020 and 2021.
Polanco, 23, batted .235/.307/.343 with seven home runs, 33 RBI, and 14 stolen bases in 89 games as a rookie last season.
Ken Rosenthal and Josh Tolentino of The Athletic report that Rays starter Blake Snell has switched agencies, going from Apex Baseball to Boras Corporation. Snell is currently signed to a five-year, $50 million contract and will be under contract through 2023.
Snell found himself in hot water two weeks ago when he said on his Twitch stream that he wouldn’t risk his life to play baseball during a pandemic while receiving significantly reduced pay. Some described Snell as tone deaf for saying, “I gotta get my money. I’m not playing unless I get mine, okay?”
Boras represents many of baseball’s highest-paid players, including Gerrit Cole and Bryce Harper. Snell is not likely to win over any of the people he recently irritated by appearing to go after more money by hiring the highest-profile agent. What often goes unsaid is that players have a very limited window in which to use their elite athletic skills to make money.
Snell won the 2018 AL Cy Young Award, going 21-5 with a 1.89 ERA and a 221/64 K/BB ratio over 180 2/3 innings. He did not have nearly the same success last year, going 6-8 with a 4.29 ERA and a 147/40 K/BB ratio in 107 innings.