The Pirates have made a long-term extension offer to third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes, tweets MLB Network’s Jon Heyman. The sides have talked in the past, but Heyman says Pittsburgh is making a serious effort to extend him now. Terms of the offer have not been disclosed, though the deal was made on Saturday, per Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette.
Hayes is still two years away from arbitration, and is under club control through the 2026 season, which would be Hayes’ age-29 season. Any potential extension would give the Pirates the opportunity to keep the 2015 first-rounder in Pittsburgh beyond his current club control.
The 25-year-old is entering his third Major League season after appearing in 120 games between 2020-21. Hayes has a career slash of .280/.340/.432 (109 OPS+) with 27 doubles, four triples, 11 home runs and 10 stolen bases in just shy of 500 plate appearances.
While Hayes has the ability to be a quality player at the plate, his real value is defensively. Hayes has already emerged as one of the top defenders in the league at the hot corner. His 16 defensive runs saved a year ago were tops in all of Major League Baseball, despite playing just 96 games. Hayes’ defensive abilities have drawn the attention of scouts throughout his professional career, with Gold Glove potential.
Hayes battled injuries to his hand/wrist area last season so he was not able to play a full slate of games. Once he returned from the injured list, he never quite got comfortable at the plate. He suffered a slight ankle sprain this spring but is expected to be ready for Opening Day.
When healthy, Hayes gives the Pirates a major boost both in the lineup and in the field. It makes sense for the Bucs to keep him in Pittsburgh long-term as the club views him as a building block for the future.
So far, Pirates general manager Ben Cherington has yet to give out a long-term extension to any players since taking over the reigns. Extending Hayes would not only send a message to the fans showing that the club is willing to spend to win, but will be an encouraging development to the core of players on the Pirates’ roster.
There has been speculation that Hayes and Bryan Reynolds are two candidates to get extensions from the Pirates and while they are negotiating with Hayes, Reynolds said earlier in spring that there have not been any recent talks regarding a possible extension for him.