You’ve got to love Gregory Polanco, a/k/a Baseball Jesus.
The Pirates offered Polanco $25 million for seven years, plus three club options that would have bought out Polanco’s first three years of free agency. The total value of the deal, had all three options been picked up, would have been $50-60m.
Polanco said no. Good move.
The (probably) unspoken carrot being dangled in front of Polanco was immediate promotion to the Pirates. But club options make Polanco accept all long-term risk.
Right now, the Pirates need Polanco a lot more than Polanco needs to be in the major leagues. The Pirates’ right fielders are hitting .226 with a .605 OPS. Polanco is hitting .397 in AAA. His OPS is 1.070.
Polanco didn’t let himself get suckered. And Polanco will always remember when the Pirates tried to con him by teasing him with a job he should have had coming out of spring training.
The Pirates not only showed that winning is a secondary concern via their negotiations with Polanco, they risked alienating a future star.