Gregory Polanco has 4 home runs and 26 RBIs in AAA ball this year. (Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
The Pittsburgh Pirates offered top prospect Gregory Polanco a deal that could span up to ten years, but the 22-year-old right fielder refused, according to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.
Polanco remains with the team's Triple-A affiliate in Indianapolis after turning down the deal, despite hitting .397/.449/.621 while the Pirates major league outfield has struggled to produce early in the season. Passan points out that the MLB's current service time rules encourage teams to keep their best prospects in the minors until later in the summer.
The top 22 percent of each service class are designated Super 2 players, meaning they are granted arbitration – and therefore a higher salary – for four seasons instead of three. By keeping a player in the minor leagues until after the Super 2 cut-off, which is usually in early to mid-June, teams estimate a savings of millions of dollars.
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The Houston Astros offered a similar long term deal to their top minor leaguer, outfielder George Springer, who also turned it down, and did not start the season with the club, pushing his free agency date back one year.