The Pittsburgh Pirates have reached an agreement on a long-term extension with third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes, according to Robert Murray of FanSided. Murray reports that Hayes’ deal is eight years and worth $70 million, and that it includes a club option for an additional season.
As a result, Hayes’ contract is the largest in Pirates franchise history, exceeding longtime catcher Jason Kendall’s six-year pact worth $60 million that was signed in November of 2000. It’s also the second largest contract in league history for a player with between one and two years of service time, trailing only the massive $340 million contract given to San Diego Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. (Second place had previously belonged to the $58 million the Atlanta Braves guaranteed to shortstop Andrelton Simmons in 2014.)
Hayes, 25, originally joined the Pirates organization in 2015, when the franchise selected him with the 32nd pick in that year’s draft. He made his big-league debut in 2020 and has since batted .280/.340/.432 (109 OPS+) with 11 home runs and 10 stolen bases in 491 plate appearances. Hayes is considered to be a well-above-average defensive third baseman. That, plus his offensive output, has seen him notch more than four Wins Above Replacement so far, per Baseball Reference’s calculations.
Hayes figures to be one of the key pieces for the Pirates moving forward. Pittsburgh has done well to build a strong farm system under the watch of general manager Ben Cherington. The Pirates are likely to graduate other intriguing youngsters this season, including shortstop Oneil Cruz, who figures to return to the majors as soon as the Pirates have manipulated his service time long enough to gain an extra year of control.
Prior to Hayes’ extension, the Pirates did not have a single guaranteed contract on the books beyond the 2022 season.