PITTSBURGH (93-7 The Fan) – Pirates president Frank Coonelly joined The Fan Morning Show in-studio on Friday to talk about the state of the team and the first-ever Sunday night baseball game at PNC Park.
Even though the Pirates have an open roster spot after Phil Irwin was optioned to AAA, Coonelly said that Gregory Polanco won’t be the player joining the Pirates today.
“It will not be Gregory Polanco,” Coonelly said.
Coonelly read the recent report saying Polanco would be up now had he agreed to the reported contract extension offer made by the Pirates. And while Coonelly wouldn’t confirm or deny that an offer had been made to Polanco, he said that they would never promote a player contingent upon them signing a new contract.
“One thing that we would never do in this hypothetical situation is say to a player that, if you sign this contract, you’ll be in Pittsburgh tomorrow, if you don’t, you will not be in Pittsburgh tomorrow,” Coonelly said.
When asked about the possibility that Polanco’s agent leaked the report in an attempt to force the Pirates’ hand, Coonelly said that such an attempt would be futile.
“It doesn’t change what we’re going to do, what we have done,” Coonelly said. “So if that’s the intent, it’s kind of wasted.”
When it comes to the “super two” cutoff that encourages teams to delay calling up top prospects in order to keep their service time down and delay their big paydays, Coonelly would like to see the cutoff bounced back up to three years.
“I think that the best way to go is go back to what it was before this whole ‘super two’ came into being, and that is that players were eligible for arbitration after three full years,” Coonelly said. “[The] players association probably thinks that it should go back to where it was even before that, which was you’re arbitration-eligible after two full years. So that’s a matter of collective bargaining, and it really is an allocation of dollars among players, because at the end of the day, the clubs are going to spend the same amount of money on players.”
The full interview can be heard here: