After what felt like an eternity, the Pittsburgh Pirates and all-star outfielder Bryan Reynolds have agreed to an eight-year, $106.75 million deal.
It's a great day to be a Pittsburgh Pirates fan! After what felt like an eternity of back and fourth discussion between the Pittsburgh Pirates' brass and all-star outfielder Bryan Reynolds, the two sides have come to an agreement that will extend Reynolds for eight seasons. The Pirates will give Reynolds a franchise record setting $106.75 million, which marks the first $100+ million contract in the team's history. The news of the extension was broke by Jason Mackey:
One of the main sticking points of extension talks were over an opt-out, however this deal does not include one. Reynolds will add $2 million on top of his 2023 salary of $6.75 million. His 2023-2026 salaries are as follows: $10, $12, $14 million, and will be paid $15 million for 2027 through 2030. The Pirates also hold a $20 million team option for 2031, but also have the opportunity to buy him out for $2 million. Reynolds also gets a partial no-trade clause that includes six teams. The Pirates, surprisingly, set a record as well, as this is the most an outfielder who was drafted out of college has ever been paid.
Reynolds is currenlty in his age-28 season, and he's gotten off to a pretty good start to his fifth big league campaign. In 94 plate appearances, the switch-hitter is slashing .294/.319/.533 with a .363 wOBA, and 127 wRC+. Although Reynolds' walk rate is down to just 5.3% currently, his 18.1% strikeout rate would be a career best. He's also hitting the ball much harder with a 92.7 MPH exit velocity and 51.4% hard hit rate. Both would also be career bests, and by a large margin.
Defensively, Reynolds has been a mixed bag throughout his career. Between 2019 and 2020, Reynolds had a +13 defensive runs saved and +3 outs above average. In 2021, he had -5 DRS, but +11 outs above average. Last season, he had -14 DRS and -7 outs above average. Reynolds started off his career in left field, moved to center field in 2021 and 2022, but has mostly played left once again this year. It's a small sample size, but Reynolds already has +3 DRS and OAA in left this year.
If Reynolds were to keep this pace up for the entire season, it would mark the fourth time he has posted a wRC+ of at least 120. The only year he has posted a sub-120 wRC+ was in the shortened 2020 COVID season, so take it's legitimacy with a grain of salt. So far in his career, Reynolds is a .282/.359/.484 batter with a .359 wOBA, and 126 wRC+. Among outfielders with at least 1500 plate appearances dating back to 2019, Reynolds has the 12th highest fWAR. He also has the 15th highest wRC+.
This season has already been extremely fun to watch, and both the fans and team haven't been this happy since the mid-2010s. Bryan Reynolds getting extended while the Pirates currently lead the National League this late into the season for the first time since 2013 has made overall morale skyrocket to unbelieveable heights. This season is unlike any other the team has had in recent history. Here's to being a Pittsburgh Pirates fan and to Bryan Reynolds!