Gregory Polanco Signs With NPB’s Yomiuri Giants


Former Pirates outfielder Gregory Polanco has signed with the Yomiuri Giants of Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball, the team announced. It’ll be his first season with the Tokyo-based club.

News first broke of talks between Polanco and teams in the NPB back in mid-December. Polanco was not likely to get a Major League deal. Polanco has seen a once-promising career derailed by injuries that led to his release from Pittsburgh. Still just 30-years-old, Polanco will look to rebuild some value with his time in Japan.

Polanco owns a career .241/.309/.409 triple-slash line across 3,220 plate appearances, though he hasn’t been a positive contributor by rWAR since 2018. That year’s .254/.340/.499 slash (123 wRC+) feels like a distant memory, as Polanco has limped to a combined .203/.270/.364 batting line in 723 plate appearances since. His once minimal strikeout rate — he fanned at just a 14.6% clip in 2017 — has skyrocketed to 30.2% in the past three seasons.

His MLB career consists of eight seasons from 2014-2021, all with the Pirates. He did sign a minor league deal with the Blue Jays after his release in 2021, but he did not make an appearance in the bigs for Toronto. That said, he raked over 101 plate appearances in Triple-A, slashing .374/.436/.747 in that small sample. The Giants were no doubt encouraged by that showing.

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