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Coonelly Talks Polanco, Team's Willingness To Sign Him Long Term

PITTSBURGH (93-7 The FAN) - With Gregory Polanco finally in a Pirates jersey and ready to start his major league career, Pirates President Frank Coonelly joined Starkey and Mueller to talk about the road that led them to this day and talked about the buzz surrounding their top prospects debut.

"These are always fun days for the organization," Coonelly said. "Particularly for our fans. We've been watching these players through the years as they come up through the system and hitting each of the levels and the anticipation building. It's a lot of fun."

When it comes to the rumors that the Pirates offered Polanco a long-term deal and he turned it down, Coonelly reiterated that the team doesn't talk about negotiations publicly, so he couldn't confirm or deny that an offer was made, but says Polanco is certainly a candidate for a long-term deal despite not having taken his first major league at-bat.

"We'll continue to talk in hypotheticals because we didn't confirm or deny contract negotiations with Gregory. It would be a very special player that a club, including us, would reach out and offer a long-term, multi-year contract buying out not only all salary arbitration years but also some free agent years before the player has had his first day of Major League service," Coonelly said. "If there is a player that is worthy of that in terms of maturity, in terms of betting on the player, Gregory is a pretty good bet.  We see him as part of our long-term future and would love to, at the appropriate time lock him up to a contract that secures him here in Pittsburgh for a long time."

Click the audio link below to hear Coonelly talk more about Polanco, as well as what the future will hold for Russell Martin as he's in the final year of his contract and what the early test results have told them about Gerrit Cole's fatigued shoulder which has landed him on the Disabled List for the first time in his career.

Frank Coonelly

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