4-7-22 – By Gary Morgan – @garymo2007 on Twitter
On opening day no less, the Pittsburgh Pirates finalized a deal with Ke’Bryan Hayes. An extension worth 70 million dollars over 8 years with a club option for a 9th.
Ke’Bryan wasn’t the most highly touted prospect in the system when he made his debut for the second half of 2020 but he burst on the scene hitting like Ted Williams. 2021 he’d spend most of injured or at least not at 100%.
The Pirates first approached Ke’ about extending after the 2020 season and perhaps coming off such a stellar stretch Hayes and his camp decided to turn down the offer. Following 2021 the Pirates wisely approached again and after some massaging the two sides came together.
This is the biggest contract the Pirates have signed anyone to since Jason Kendall got his back in the day.
Hayes isn’t without risk, there is some question as to how his bat will progress, but an AAV of 9 million for a player who’s glove alone is probably worth 2.5-3 WAR every season is a steal.
More than anything, the Pirates have finally done something everyone following this rebuild has begged for, provided a foothold.
The foundation is taking shape, and we aren’t just going to watch it errode for the next wave of players.
Clearly Reynolds is the next big ticket, but this is a great start and don’t be surprised if this is something Bryan needed to see to clinch his own mind.
Happy opening day Pittsburgh, you have your third baseman of the future, and present.
More to come as we learn more.