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Sunday, August 22, 2021

Gregory Polanco placed on waivers

The El Coffee Revolution is over.

Per Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic and other sources, the Pirates placed outfielder Gregory Polanco on outright waivers this evening.

To say that Polanco has been struggling is an understatement. His current slash line is .199/.278/.343, and he has the third-worst strikeout rate for National League right fielders at 26.7%. His defense has been borderline horrendous all season as well.

It’s a sad ending to Polanco’s Bucs career. He’s spent his entire professional career with the Pirates organization, having signed with them in 2009 at age 17, and was promising enough to have been given a five-year, $35 million contract in 2016. Unfortunately, he didn’t really live up to his potential, and he wasn’t the same after a 2019 shoulder injury. It was sort of a given that he’d be cut loose after this season, but obviously Ben Cherington decided to move up the timetable.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 22, 2021 at 07:52 PM | 10 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: gregory polanco, pirates

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   1. The Duke Posted: August 22, 2021 at 08:03 PM (#6035621)
Why not? Save a few dollars if someone picks him up
   2. The Honorable Ardo Posted: August 22, 2021 at 09:10 PM (#6035637)
I hate to sound like an old fogey, but Polanco could benefit from putting the ball in play more often. Comparing his batting statistics pre- and post-injury, his line drive % and exit velocity are virtually unchanged - but his K-rate has spiked from 19% to 30%.

His speed hasn't deserted him (he's 14-for-15 on SB attempts), so he may sneak onto a September roster as a designated runner.
   3. sanny manguillen Posted: August 22, 2021 at 10:32 PM (#6035665)
I think he was a good talent, just kept getting hurt and took forever to come back from each injury. It wouldn't shock me if posted a decent partial season filling a hole for someone.

The Pirates negotiated a lot contracts in the early 2010 where they bought out arbitration and one or two free agency years. I don't think any of them were still good by the time they would have been free agents.
   4. Walt Davis Posted: August 23, 2021 at 01:01 AM (#6035694)
McCutchen worked out spectacularly but I don't recall which years were covered. Marte worked out quite well -- 28 WAR in 8 years for $53 M. Looks like they must have extended Cervelli who was also good for them.
   5. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 23, 2021 at 09:49 AM (#6035731)
I hate to sound like an old fogey, but Polanco could benefit from putting the ball in play more often. Comparing his batting statistics pre- and post-injury, his line drive % and exit velocity are virtually unchanged - but his K-rate has spiked from 19% to 30%.

Yeah, you can't survive a 30% K-rate unless you have some serious power.
   6. Pirate Joe Posted: August 23, 2021 at 09:18 PM (#6035918)
FWIW, Polanco is playing for the Pirates tonight, so it appears that he was not put on outright waivers.

   7. Howie Menckel Posted: August 23, 2021 at 10:01 PM (#6035924)
supposedly he is playing WHILE on waivers.

if so, have never seen that before.
   8. The Duke Posted: August 24, 2021 at 08:13 AM (#6035968)
Here is explanation from an expert on VEB

The source I saw said he was placed on outright assignment waivers

Which is not the same thing. The DFA would have taken him off the 40-man immediately, while the placement on outright assignment waivers does not. He can even play a major league game during the waiver-claiming period. It’s actually not surprising. Polanco has a club option for next season at $12.5 million with a $3 million buyout. He is making $11 million this season, so his one-month salary would be a few million dollars. Polanco has enough MLB service time that he can flat-out refuse an outright assignment.

But that isn’t the point for the Pirates. Polanco doesn’t have to consent to be placed on outright assignment waivers, he just has to consent to the outright assignment, if he clears waivers. Even if he clears waivers, the Pirates don’t actually have to outright him. The hope of the Pirates is that some club will take on the entirety of the rest of Polanco’s 2021 salary, the buyout for 2022 plus pay the Pirates the $50,000 waiver price to boot. The Pirates really have nothing to lose by making that move. If there’s a contender desperate enough to pay all that, fine with the Pirates, they can’t win this season, and they probably wouldn’t exercise Polanco’s 2022 club option anyway. The Pirates could use that money saving to do other things or make their own waiver claims. If it doesn’t work, they can just keep Polanco or release him, no big deal.
   9. sanny manguillen Posted: August 24, 2021 at 09:41 AM (#6035974)
I think this has been confusing because the trade waiver process ended in 2019, and there hasn't been a regular bubbling of who's on waivers or cleared waivers since. In Pittsburgh, there's been a Polanco release watch certainly for all of this year, as people lost hope that he'd get it going again, and it became less and less likely that someone else would acquire him at any price. I think that it was generally assumed he'd be released just after the trade deadline, and when that didn't happen it was accepted he'd be in right for the rest of the year. Ben Cherington just said a few days ago that they thought he was finally healthy and wanted to get him at-bats. Maybe it was just puffing to entice someone into claiming him.
   10. Walt Davis Posted: August 24, 2021 at 06:14 PM (#6036086)
So they can place him on "outright assignment waivers", he clears waivers ... then the Pirates can just not outright him and he stays on the team for the rest of the year? That's weird and kinda useless. They got rid of revocable waivers and waiver trades ... but allow this which is essentially a waiver purchase (rather than trade) where the waiving team still isn't really taking a risk? (Yes, I know the Pirates can't revoke these waivers during the claiming period so you wouldn't do this with a player you wanted baseball value in return for.)

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