With the Pittsburgh Pirates offense still stuck in the mud, a question on many people’s minds is when will prized prospect Gregory Polanco be promoted?
The common opinion is that we will see Polanco in a Pirates uniform as soon as he is no longer eligible to attain what MLB calls “Super 2″ status, awarding him a fourth year of arbitration, opposed to the typical three years.
However Pirates’ general manager Neal Huntington is quick to dismiss that thought as he has stated that Super 2 is not “not a defining factor” on when or when we won’t see a Polanco promotion.
“He’s continuing to refine some of the intricacies of his game,” Huntington told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Rob Biertempfel. “Somebody asked the other day for a detailed list of what he’s working on. When Andrew [McCutchen] was coming up, I gave a detailed list as to what he was working on, then watched major league teams attack those weaknesses I’d identified in spring training. So, I’m not going to give you a detailed script that opposing teams can attack when Gregory gets here.”
It’s almost impossible to believe that Polanco isn’t still crushing balls in Triple-A because of the money.
Allowing Polanco to gain Super 2 status is dangerous for the Pirates and most people understand that, but Huntington shouldn’t try to sugarcoat it. Most people understand exactly what the Pirates are doing and it makes sense.
One great Super 2 example is that of San Francisco Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum, who qualified for it and made $9 million during his first year of arbitration. His salary went up $4-5 million each of his next three arbitration years until he was making $22 million during his final arbitration season.
To compare, Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw was not a Super 2 and made $500K in his fourth season in the majors. He proceeded to jump to $7.5 million and $11 million his next two arbitration seasons.
If the Pirates were to promote Polanco now, it would only make sense if they signed him to a long-term deal almost immediately, which is highly unlikely before he gets a couple of years in him at the MLB level.
However, let’s not get fooled into thinking it’s not about the money. It’s all about the money and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Polanco will be up sooner rather than later, but while I understand that Huntington doesn’t want to come off sounding cheap, just call it what it is in the future.
Most people will understand.