The Pittsburgh Pirates have one of the most valuable outfielders in the National League. Teams want him, will the Bucs trade him?
It should come as no surprise that Bryan Reynolds‘ name is showing up in Trade Rumors. Reynolds has now been a part of Pittsburgh Pirates Trade Rumors for nearly 2 years. The Marlins and Mariners showed interest in Reynolds in the past, but the asking price Ben Cherington has placed on Reynolds is very high.
This offseason the rumors kind of started early. Jon Morosi of MLB Network reported that the Bucs had no real interest in trading away their star outfielder. That does not mean teams will stop calling or trying to get a deal done with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
In fact, that very scenario looks to be playing out. Jon Heyman of the New York Post reported that teams are interested. He also echoed what Morosi reported about the Bucs not being inclined to push for a deal. Heyman wrote in a recent column:
"The center-field market is thin, and Pirates star Bryan Reynolds’ value has only risen. While it remains unlikely he will be dealt, the Pirates would listen. They are said “open-minded,” but the timing is off, as they’d like to take a step forward now."
This is a very interesting quote. Last offseason the rumor was that the Bucs were looking for at least 2 top 40 overall prospects in Baseball, and a third top 100 prospect. If the price has gone up what would that mean for a potential return? Or does Heyman mean that a price like that is more likely to be met given the outfielder market?
If a deal like that comes through it will be interesting to see how Ben Cherington operates. While many want to extend Reynolds, he will not be a free agent until he is 31 years of age. To give out a large extension to a player on the wrong side of 30 would not be the best use of assets. A small market team would be bold for doing so.
On the other hand, this team clearly can be better in 2023 and therefore beyond. A lot of the young prospects, led by Oneil Cruz look to have legitimate big-league potential. The team also signed a couple of veteran free agents in Carlos Santana and Ji-Man Choi. Would it be counter-productive for the team to deal away Reynolds while operating in this fashion?
Overall, trading Bryan Reynolds is a polarizing idea. The return has to make the Pittsburgh Pirates and honestly, their fans’ jaws to drop. If not and they are settling for a deal, then trading Reynolds will suggest exactly what many fear, that this team is not actively trying to be better right now.
That the team is not willing to invest in veterans or push to get an absolute haul in return. Hopefully, that is not the case, if Reynolds gets dealt it needs to make the Pittsburgh Pirates better. That is likely going to be a hard deal to find.