The El Coffee Revolution is over.
Per Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic and other sources, the Pirates placed outfielder Gregory Polanco on outright waivers this evening.
To say that Polanco has been struggling is an understatement. His current slash line is .199/.278/.343, and he has the third-worst strikeout rate for National League right fielders at 26.7%. His defense has been borderline horrendous all season as well.
It’s a sad ending to Polanco’s Bucs career. He’s spent his entire professional career with the Pirates organization, having signed with them in 2009 at age 17, and was promising enough to have been given a five-year, $35 million contract in 2016. Unfortunately, he didn’t really live up to his potential, and he wasn’t the same after a 2019 shoulder injury. It was sort of a given that he’d be cut loose after this season, but obviously Ben Cherington decided to move up the timetable.
Since he has over seven years of major league service, Polanco will still be owed the guaranteed money on his contract. If no team picks him up by Tuesday, he can choose to be a free agent. Considering no team seemed interested in him before this year’s trade deadline, that’s probably the route he’ll take.
Once upon a time, Polanco, Starling Marte and Andrew McCutchen were slated to be the Pirates’ dream outfield. Hopefully like Marte and Cutch, El Coffee can catch on somewhere else.