The Bryan Reynolds extension/trade drama has dominated the Pirate offseason, but extending him still needs to be the organization's top priority
Entering the offseason it appeared that attempting to get a long-term contract extension done with Bryan Reynolds would be a top priority for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Well, a wrench seemed to be thrown into these plans in early December when Reynolds requested a trade.
As more information about the situation would become known, it came to light that the main reason Reynolds requested a trade was due to extension talks between the two sides not going well. At this point, it appeared very possible that Reynolds could be traded by Opening Day.
However, here we are, with spring training underway and Reynolds still a Pirate. Reynolds also has not changed his stance - he still wants to be a Pittsburgh Pirate. Now, you might be saying, how can a guy who requested a trade from a team still want to play for that team? Well, let comments from Reynolds explain that.
“I think I’ve been pretty open over the past few years that my number one would be to sign an extension in Pittsburgh," Reynolds told reporters earlier this week. He added that he simply wants it to be a fair deal for both sides. Not a crazy deal for the player, not a crazy deal for the team, just a fair deal for all parties involved.
Well, the ball is now in the court of Ben Cherington and Bob Nutting to find that fair middle ground. Even if it does not happen before Opening Day, getting a long-term extension done with Reynolds still needs to be the organization's top priority.
Reynolds also told reporters that he is still open to signing a long-term extension with the Pirates. This should contribute to extending Reynolds still being the top priority for the organization as Opening Day approaches.
The positives to extended Reynolds would be endless. First, and most importantly, it would lock up one of the best center fielders in baseball through their prime seasons. Reynolds is preparing to embark on his age-28 season. These next 5-6 years should be the prime seasons of his career, guaranteeing that Reynolds is under contract for those seasons, as well as an additional year or two afterward, goes a long way toward helping the Pirates build their next winner.
Speaking of building a winner, locking Reynolds up long-term allows the Pittsburgh Pirates to truly build around him moving forward. While you hope, and feel confident that, Oneil Cruz will develop into a bonafide middle of the lineup MLB hitter that you can build around, you already have a proven one in Reynolds. Additionally, you need more than one of these hitters to contend. Extending Renyolds gives you this.
Finally, getting a long-term deal done with Reynolds sends a message and in the right way. If you can lockup Reynolds long-term after doing it with Ke'Bryan Hayes last spring then the Pirates show as an organization that they are indeed willing to spend money and to build their core.
Doing this would be a big a PR boost for the Pirates with fans, as well as sending a positive message to the rest of baseball. Extending Reynolds makes the Pirates a more desirable landing spot for free agents as it indicates that the Pirates are serious about attempting to build a winner.
Even after a rocky offseason, reaching a long-term deal with Reynolds still needs to be the Pirates top priority.