Red alert: Bryan Reynolds wants out of Pittsburgh
Mike Chernoff and Chris Antonetti, please go save Bryan Reynolds now!
In case you missed the news this weekend, All-Star Bryan Reynolds has informed the Pirates' front office that he will not sign an extension and would like to be traded. Once again, I am imploring the Guardians to pick up the phone and save Reynolds from the torture that is Pittsburgh's current rebuild.
According to reports, Reynolds and the Pirates had been discussing an extension that would have made him the highest-paid player in Pirates history (that honor currently belongs to Ke'Bryan Hayes, who last offseason signed an eight-year $70 million extension). However, talks reached an "impasse" and Reynolds notified the team that he would like to be traded.
Even before the days of the internet I have been clamoring for this front office to go out and get Reynolds. Okay, I am obviously exaggerating, but I have long believed believed he'd be the perfect fit in Cleveland.
Some will say Cleveland doesn't need to add another outfielder with the emergence of Steven Kwan and Oscar Gonzalez this past season. But take a step back and think about this: Adding Reynolds would immediately upgrade the defense in the outfield. It would also allow for manager Terry Francona to get more creative with lineups, moving Gonzalez to a more permanent DH spot, or giving Myles Straw a break in center field. Not to mention the possibilities that would emerge by being able to implement a 1B/DH platoon.
Reynolds will play the 2023 season at 28 years old, and is set to earn $6.75 million this season. He also has two additional years of team control via arbitration. Over the past two seasons, Reynolds has slashed .283/.368/.492, owning a 136 OPS+ as well. He certainly possesses the qualities that the Guardians are looking for; even with having a down 2022 season he still managed to hit 27 home runs.
A change of scenery may do Reynolds well. Playing with a roster of mostly unknowns since the 2020 season has probably taken a toll, and the Pirates are still years away from truly competing even for a divisional title.
That said, the Pirates will justifiably have a high asking price. Just last week I predicted a package of Aaron Civale, Tyler Freeman, and George Valera would be needed at minimum to swing any such deal. I'm sure other prospects could be interchanged - maybe Gabriel Arias, Brayan Rocchio, Angel Martinez, or Gavin Williams are of more interest to the Pirates. Any way you cut it, though, Pittsburgh will most likely seek two top 20 prospects and an MLB arm in return.
We don't want to mortgage the farm, especially with talks that the Guardians are players for Sean Murphy or Alejandro Kirk. If the club could get one of the aforementioned catchers and Reynolds, though?!? UHH YES PLEASE. But at the very least, acquiring a player of Reynolds' stature would do wonders for this lineup.