A former Pittsburgh Pirates star revealed his plans for the 2023 season on Tuesday.
Gregory Polanco, who played for Pittsburgh from 2014-2021, is returning to Japan after spending last season with the Yomiuri Giants. He will play for the Chiba Lotte Marines in 2023.
Polanco, 31, played his last MLB game in 2021. He was a solid outfielder for the Pirates before heading to Japan, flashing power and speed with 96 home runs and 98 stolen bases during his eight-year career.
Unfortunately for Polanco, his performance tailed off during the pandemic-shortened season in 2020 and didn't return to its previous levels in 2021. He batted just .191/.261/.345 with 169 strikeouts in 157 games during those two seasons combined, indicating that he was no longer an MLB-caliber player.
While Polanco is still young enough that he could potentially get another crack at the big leagues someday, it likely wouldn't be with the Pirates, who are building around young talent. Plus, he seems to be enjoying his time in Japan if he was willing to stay there for another year.