The Yankees and Pittsburgh Pirates have been linked all off-season regarding star outfielder Bryan Reynolds. Reynolds requested a trade several weeks ago, but the Pirates are asking for a lofty return in exchange for the 27-year-old.
Reynolds played in 145 games last season, in fact, in three of his four years as an MLB player, he’s played in over 130 games, minus the Covid abbreviated season. Reynolds hit .262 with a .345 OBP, 27 homers, and 62 RBIs last season, posting a 125 wRC+. He was even better in 2021, which is why the Yankees have been considering matching the Pirates’ asking price.
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The Yankees will have to sell the farm to trade for Bryan Reynolds:
However, Pittsburgh is looking for elite pitching prospects, and the Yankees simply don’t have many in their farm system. If they’re going to get a deal done, it must include players like Oswald Peraza, Jasson Dominguez, and even Anthony Volpe. Obviously, general manager Brian Cashman is not keen on offloading any of the three in exchange for a proven commodity, making a deal unlikely leading up to spring training.
According to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale:
The Pittsburgh Pirates are not close to reaching a contract extension with center fielder Bryan Reynolds after he rejected their six-year, $75 million offer, and requested a trade. They still have an awfully high price tag on him, teams say, believing Reynolds will still open the season with the Pirates.
The Pirates offering Reynolds an embarrassingly low six-year, $75 million deal all but guarantees his departure this season. Whether he starts the campaign in Pittsburgh or is traded before is yet to be seen.
Nonetheless, the Yankees have the assets to get a deal done without sending a top pitcher. However, mortgaging the team’s future is a significant risk, especially since Dominguez is flying up the ranks and could be an elite centerfielder at the MLB level one day.
Of course, that is all theory until proven true, and Reynolds would give the Yankees a significant advantage in their quest to reach the World Series this upcoming season. It is important to note that Reynolds has never played in a postseason game before, so it is impossible to tell if he will crumble or rise to the occasion when it matters most.
One way or another, Cashman will find a way to fill the left field position, even if it means creating a position battle between Oswaldo Cabrera and Aaron Hicks. If we’re being honest, though, Cabrera should be guaranteed the starting job, or at least the first crack before Hicks even sniffs the left-field position.