Pittsburgh Pirates: The Club Plans To Build Around Bryan Reynolds
The Pittsburgh Pirates are in the midst of their rebuild. Which player are they going to build around as they look for their next window?
The Pittsburgh Pirates hired Ben Cherington to lead the rebuild. He has already traded away Starling Marte, Josh Bell, Joe Musgrove and Jameson Taillon while likely trading Adam Frazier and Richard Rodriguez this summer. That leaves little options to build around. One player is obviously Ke’Bryan Hayes, who entered the season as the number one prospect in the organization. It appears that there is another player.
Originally acquired for Andrew McCutchen, Bryan Reynolds had a strong debut in 2019 but followed it up with a dismal 2020. His 2021 has gone much better, and he has improved his walk rate, strikeout rate, and ISO from his 2019. This has led to some to think the Pirates should trade the 26-year-old and has led to other fan bases thinking he is available.
He was listed as an honorary mention on FanGraphs trade value series but the real news is the report from Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. Rosenthal reported that the Pittsburgh Pirates will look to trade away their arb eligible players but not the Buccos outfielder, writing
"He is under control for four more years, and the Pirates — yes, I’m actually typing these words — intend to build around him."
This is encouraging as Bryan Reynolds has been one of the best players in the game this season and locking down at least one regular is important for a rebuild. The goal should be to extend him on a deal while buying out years of free agency. This would give the Pittsburgh Pirates cost certainty and a known position as they look to compete again.
With Ke’Bryan Hayes at the center of the rebuild, it appears that Bryan Reynolds is a main focal point for Cherington and the Pirates. Hayes and Reynolds are the club’s two best players and are essential if they want to compete sooner rather than later. It appears that the Pirates agree and Reynolds is intended to be a big part of the future.