PITTSBURGH — In the hours before their 2022 Home Opener, the Pirates made it official and made a significant investment in their future.
The Bucs, and team owner and Chairman Bob Nutting, announced a new eight-year contract extension for third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes.
“Ke’Bryan is the type of core player who is a winner on the field, a leader in the clubhouse and engaged in our community,” said Nutting. “He is the type of player who makes a true difference in the direction of our organization.”
Hayes, who just turned 25 in January, will get $70 million guaranteed. It’s the largest contract in franchise history.
Nutting hopes Hayes will be the cornerstone of his team for the next decade.
The deal includes a club option for 2030. If the Pirates would pick up that option, Hayes would play in Pittsburgh for the next nine seasons.
In 2015, Hayes was the 32nd overall pick by the Pirates in the supplemental first round of the “First-Year Player Draft.”
He won three consecutive Gold Glove Awards in the minor leagues, and after joining the Pirates in September of 2020, he earned National League Rookie-of-the-Month honors for his first month in the majors.
Pirates General Manager Ben Cherington praised Hayes, not only for what he does on the field, but for his commitment to baseball, and to turning the Pirates around.
“I’ve been struck not only by Ke’Bryan supreme talent,” Cherington said, “but by his love and passion for the game, his care for his teammates and family, and his desire to win, in Pittsburgh.”
For his part, Hayes provided some perspective, and downplayed the pressure that goes with a lucrative contract, “Pressure is whenever you don’t know where you’re going to get your next meal, where you’re going to sleep.”
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