Report: Pirates, Gregory Polanco agree to a five-year extension

AP Photo/David Zalubowski
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Update (10:12 PM EST): Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports is reporting that the five years are worth $35 million. With the two option years, the total contract could be worth up to $60 million.

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The Pirates and outfielder Gregory Polanco have agreed to a five-year deal believed to be in the range of $30 million, Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports is reporting. The contract also includes two club options, potentially making it a seven-year deal. As Passan notes, Polanco previously turned down a seven-year contract offer from the Pirates in 2014.

Polanco’s new deal starts in 2017, so it will cover all three of his arbitration-eligible seasons plus one season during which he could have been eligible for free agency.

Polanco, 24, was rated the #10 overall prospect in baseball going into the 2014 season. He hasn’t quite lived up to the hype, carrying a .685 OPS over 964 plate appearances in the big leagues, but the Pirates are obviously quite confident he can continue to progress. Polanco showed improved ability during the second half last year, hitting .276/.324/.425 with six home runs, 29 RBI, 43 runs scored, and 10 stolen bases in 316 trips to the plate.

[graphiq id=”bKFuehElPpj” title=”Gregory Polanco 2015 Batting Splits By Pitcher Hand” width=”640″ height=”523″ url=”https://w.graphiq.com/w/bKFuehElPpj” link=”http://baseball-players.pointafter.com/l/18422/Gregory-Polanco” link_text=”Gregory Polanco 2015 Batting Splits By Pitcher Hand | PointAfter”]

Shohei Ohtani agrees to $30 million deal for 2023 with Angels

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
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ANAHEIM, Calif. — Shohei Ohtani agreed to a $30 million deal with the Los Angeles Angels for the 2023 season in the two-way superstar’s final year of arbitration eligibility before free agency.

The Angels announced the deal, avoiding a potentially complicated arbitration case with the 2021 AL MVP.

Ohtani’s deal is fully guaranteed, with no other provisions. The contract is the largest ever given to an arbitration-eligible player, surpassing the $27 million given to Mookie Betts by the Boston Red Sox in January 2020, a month before he was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Ohtani is having another incredible season at the plate and on the mound for the Angels, regularly accomplishing feats that haven’t occurred in the major leagues since Babe Ruth’s heyday. He is a strong contender for the AL MVP award again alongside the Yankees’ Aaron Judge, who has tied the AL home run record and is closing in on the batting Triple Crown.

Ohtani is batting .276 with 34 homers, 94 RBIs and a .888 OPS as the Halos’ designated hitter. He is 15-8 with a 2.35 ERA and 213 strikeouts as their ace on the mound, and opponents are batting only .207 against him.

The 28-year-old Ohtani still will be a free agent after the 2023 season, and his future could be tied to the immediate fortunes of the Angels, who will complete their seventh consecutive losing season next week. The Angels didn’t trade Ohtani at the deadline despite being out of the playoff race again, and Ohtani is wildly popular among the club’s fans.

Ohtani repeatedly has said winning will be an important factor in choosing his home beyond 2023, and Angels owner Arte Moreno is currently exploring a sale of the team.

Moreno’s leadership has been widely criticized during the Angels’ mostly miserable run of play since 2009, and a fresh start with deep-pocketed new owners could be the best chance to persuade Ohtani to stay with the franchise he joined in 2018 from Japan. Ohtani immediately won the AL Rookie of the Year award, and he rounded into unique form last season after recovering fully from Tommy John surgery.