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Pirates, Bryan Reynolds agree to two-year contract, avoid arbitration

The deal spans the 2022 and 2023 seasons

Chicago Cubs v Pittsburgh Pirates Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Bryan Reynolds has a new contract.

The Pittsburgh Pirates and their star center fielder have agreed to a two-year deal to avoid arbitration, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Jason Mackey was first to report the possibility of a two-year contract and says the deal totals $13.5 million.

The agreement covers the 2022 and 2023 seasons at $6.75 million per year. Reynolds, 27, is still under team control for the next four years through 2025.

After signing third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes to an eight-year, $70 million contract that can become nine with a club option, owner Bob Nutting stated the franchise is placing a “stake in the ground” moving forward to improve the major league team.

Mackey also reported the Bucs owner was frustrated with how the organization and 2021 All-Star starter were separated by $650,000 in contract negotiations, opting not to sour relations with the team’s best player. Reynolds requested $4.9 million and was countered at $4.25 million from the Bucs.

Going to arbitration would have caused significantly more harm than help for a franchise in need of retaining top-tier talent to turn the corner on the current rebuild.

Reynolds owns a 10.6 career WAR and was a finalist for the 2021 Gold Glove in center. He slashed .302/.390/.522 with a .912 OPS in 159 games last season. Reynolds totaled 45 doubles, 24 home runs, 90 RBI, and a major-league leading 8 triples in his third year with the Pirates.

Ultimately, the agreement should help create a path towards a possible long-term extension and a definite stake in the PNC Park outfield for years to come.