The Pittsburgh Pirates are not trading Bryan Reynolds.
Well, at least they shouldn’t.
Rumors and speculation have continued to flow that the All-Star center fielder is on the trade block, pinning Seattle and Miami as likely destinations.
Dealing Reynolds would signal a white flag being waved on the rebuild. An expression that more prospects are still needed through sending away your best player.
An extension with Reynolds sounds more plausible.
The 27-year-old garnered a 6 WAR in his third season thanks to batting .302 with 35 doubles, 8 triples, 24 home runs, and 90 RBI in 159 games.
A switch-hitting anchor in the outfield and middle of the lineup is exactly the type of player the Pirates need to build around and commit to.
Reynolds has proved himself to be a potential face of the franchise, rebounding from a disastrous 2020 season hitting only .189 in 185 at-bats.
Under contract for four more seasons entering 2022, the former second-round pick by the San Francisco Giants out of Vanderbilt was acquired in the Andrew McCutchen trade.
Reynolds provides a glimmer of hope and an array of leadership to a young team banking on up-and-coming prospects to push them over the hump and win a division title for the first time since 1992.
General manager Ben Cherington has been meticulous about roster transactions to acquire new pieces to the puzzle, but trading away Reynolds would send the worst message possible.
How would the organization excuse trading away its best player with club control remaining and previous rumblings an extension is a possibility?
With Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association no longer locked out and business building its way back to normal, a fury of transactions will be made in the coming weeks.
The Pirates are sure to add a veteran or two to compliment a developmental and ever-changing young roster. But the main point of emphasis will be guiding members of Indianapolis, Altoona, and Greensboro to PNC Park.
Reynolds is the exact player you hold on to for the next six-to-eight years, not trade away when the core prospects are a year away and will take up pennies on the dollar compared to the overall payroll.
The likes of Oneil Cruz, Nick Gonzales, Henry Davis, Liver Peguero, and others are waiting in the wings and would benefit from both a veteran leader in the clubhouse.
Rumors during baseball’s worst downtime since the 1994 strike may need to be taken with a grain of salt, but if the Pirates are serious about contending into the next five years, B-Rey must be here to stay and be handed a payday.
Edit: Though with today’s news that Reynolds turned down a long-term extension with the Bucs before the 2021 season, who knows what an adequate payday would look like? Does that change things? It’s hard to make that determination without knowing the money involved.
Pirates Outfielder Bryan Reynolds turned down two long term deals with the club prior to 2021 per source. Reynolds finished 11th in NL MVP voting and 16th in fWAR (5.5) in 2021.— Craig Mish (@CraigMish) March 11, 2022