On the day of the Pittsburgh Pirates home opener the franchise made an official announcement about one of their star players.

The Pirates 2022 Home Opener against the Chicago Cubs was unlike any other at PNC Park for about 70 million different reasons.

Third Baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes signed an eight year contract extension to become the highest paid player in the Pirates franchise history.

“From the first minute I got drafted, whenever they played in those wild card games, I mean you could see they made Johnny Cuado drop the ball on the mound. So it’s an awesome fan base. They’ve been awesome to me since day one whenever I got drafted. Just felt like a comfortable place for me to be. It’s kind of like from where I’m from,” said Ke’Bryan Hayes, Pirates Third Baseman.

The former 2015 first round pick who broke out in the 2020 season, became one of the faces of the franchise.

“I want to thank Bob for believing in me and to be the cornerstone in the franchise. I feel like we have a lot of young talent in the minor leagues and I feel that we are building something very special,” said Hayes.

Pirates Third Base Coach and Former Seawolves Manager Mike Rabelo had nothing but high praise for Hayes.

“If you spend any time with him, he’s a genuine person. He’s a really good baseball player. For me he checks all the boxes for having that cornerstone for the franchise. Elite defensively, he can hit, he’s a class act. I couldn’t be more happy for Ke and his family,” said Mike Rabelo, Pirates Third Base Coach.

“I think it’s huge. It’s the first time I’ve been apart of something like that. Be able to see Ke up on that stage and get what he deserves. Know what he’s worked for. Kind of gives chills to you,” said Kevin Newman, Pirates Shortstop.

Following the home opener with the Chicago Cubs, it will be the Washington Nationals that are coming to PNC Park next.

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The Pirates are looking to become a contender and break a six year playoff drought.