Pittsburgh Pirates could keep Ke’Bryan Hayes after all

One could understand why Ke’Bryan Hayes would have rebuffed the Pittsburgh Pirates‘ attempts to sign him to a long term extension. While such a deal would provide plenty of protection for a player without much time in the majors, Hayes could also be leaving plenty of money on the table in the future. Add in the Pirates’ own futility over recent years, and his refusal makes even more sense.

That does not mean that Hayes necessarily wants to leave. According to Rob Biertempfel from The Athletic, Hayes would be open to beginning such talks, saying that he wants to stay and win a championship with the club that drafted him.

Ke’Bryan Hayes wants to be key part of Pittsburgh Pirates’ future

This does not mean that such a deal is imminent. Hayes is still waiting for the right time, looking to maximize an extension as much as possible. But his quotes about wanting to be a leader on the franchise and helping to mold the future players in the organization give hope that such a deal could be made.

It is understandable that the Pirates would want to lock in one of the cornerstones of their franchise. One of the top prospects in the game, Hayes had an impressive showing in his brief time in the majors in 2020. While he has struggled this season, posting a .248/.316/.374 batting line with four homers and 12 doubles in his 228 plate appearances, he also missed time due to a wrist injury.

Those issues with his wrist could explain his struggles this year. Likewise, it is understandable that Hayes would want to wait to have those extension discussions until he is healthy and able to produce as he is expected. If that happens, his payday will come.

There is plenty of time for both sides to wait. Hayes is not eligible for free agency until 2027, giving the Pirates plenty of time to prove that they are committed to putting together a winning team. If that happens, it will be a lot easier to convince Hayes to stick around, especially if the notoriously frugal franchise is ready to open the vaults.

Ke’Bryan Hayes is not against an extension with the Pittsburgh Pirates. It is just a matter of it being the right time for such discussions.