Note to Gregory Polanco: You Should Have Signed!


Feb 27, 2014; Tampa, FL, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates right fielder Gregory Polanco (62) smiles after he hit a solo home run during the first inning against the New York Yankees at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Gregory Polanco.  Your kool-aid must taste absolutely delicious nowadays huh..

And why not?  I mean, you started off the season red-hot in AAA Indy slashing .373/.437/.593 through the first 45 games.  You’re the future in right field for a team that is struggling right now.  You got baseball simpletons like Mark Madden screaming from the roof tops that you are God’s gift to baseball.  You hold all the cards right?

Sure you do..

I mean… your stock is just hotter than Apple after they announced the iphone buddy.  Jose Tabata and Travis Snyder have looked….well let’s say…less than Polanco-like in right field.  The Pirates are off to a slow start.  The fans are foaming at the mouth to get a taste of greggy at PNC park and you are just sitting back taking it all in. (big drink of kool-aid….ahhhh)

Here’s the only problem.  You made a big mistake when you didn’t sign the contract the Pirates offered you.  (spits out kool-aid! WHAAA?)

Here’s why.

Sure you’re hot right now.  And as a result of being hot, you got yourself a contract.  Rule of thumb.  When you’re a rookie who hasn’t so much as taken a swing in the big leagues and one of the cheapest teams in baseball gives you guaranteed money?

Ya…uhh.  You take it.

Ask Starling Marte if he’s happy he signed his extension when he did.  He came off a great year and they rewarded him with guaranteed cash.  His stock has dropped so far this year, but guess what didn’t…. his salary and his job security.

Ask Jedd Gyorko from the Padres if he’s happy he signed a 6 year deal with his team after his first good season.  He’s hitting .165 right now but laughing all the way to the bank.  They’re basically forced to play him every day and watch helplessly as he flails away at the plate and puts up donut after donut.  You think if he hadn’t signed that 6 year deal that they’d be marching him out there every day to witness him NOT get any hits?  You think that’s air your breathing now?   (Morpheus)

Ask Pedro Alvarez if he’s thinking “hmmm….maybe I shouldn’t have listened to my pig agent Scott Boras and negotiated this offseason” as he sits at .212/.306/.365 and has less home runs than Neil Walker.   He’s literally losing money every time he strikes out with men in scoring position and his stock is falling faster than Enron.

Bottom line is sure, you’re hot now.  But remember last year when you hit .263 in AA Altoona?  That can happen again you know…and chances are it will at some point.

Do you think you’re going to remain hot for the next 6 years while the Pirates have clamps on you tighter than a vice grip?  I have news for you G.P.  You won’t.

Let me give you a bit of knowledge young buck.  When your boss gives you a raise before you even show up at work and you throw it back in his face while you are still locked in a guaranteed contract with the company….ya… that’s not good.

But your Greg Polanco… I forgot.  An other-wordly talent that shouldn’t sign away your potential for a measly $25m guaranteed.  What bush league player would ever sign such a bogus deal obviously designed to cheat them out of cash and thwart their growth potential!

I mean… what no talent hack in their right mind would do such a thing!  Sign a deal with their team before they’re arbitration eligible…And squander all that potential??  What fool would partake in such a signing?

How about:  Ryan Braun, Evan Longoria, Matt Moore, Jedd Gyorko, Andrew McCutchen, Justin Upton, Jay Bruce, Paul Goldschmidt, Anthony Rizzo, Jose Altuve, Starling Marte, Chris Archer, Jose Quintana, Sean Doolittle…and believe me….I’m just naming a few.

But you’re going to be waaaay better than these amateurs right?   You’re going to be an arbitration superstar!  Well, if you say so.

Now that you said no to the deal and gave the Pirates carte blanche AND incentive to squeeze you as tight as they possibly can for the foreseeable future, you don’t have to perform at an all-star level.  You NEED to.  You have no choice.  .263 won’t cut it kiddo.

You think you’ll get more in arbitration than you would with a contract that could have paid you north of $50m with incentives?   Well….I hope so.  Good Luck.  I’m sure you have it all figured out.  No worries.

Oh, one last thing…. just remember every other prospect in the system wants your job and every free agent outfielder needs your job.  So here’s some advice.

Don’t get hurt…don’t get into any trouble off the field….ever….don’t even have so much as ONE bad year….especially while you’re arbitration eligible…don’t strike out too much…don’t get caught stealing too much….don’t hit less than 15 home runs…don’t make too many errors….don’t have a  WAR less than 5.0…don’t  complain…don’t relax… and most importantly…don’t blink.

Because if you do, the Pirates won’t hesitate to turn you into a platoon faster than you can say kool-aid and any number of up and coming prospects won’t hesitate to sign the deal that you didn’t.

But hey, no pressure kid. You got this.