The New York Yankees have been connected to Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Bryan Reynolds multiple times over the past few seasons, but things are getting a bit more real after Reynolds requested a trade over the weekend.
The Yankees’ interest in Reynolds is quite straightforward and justifiable, he’s one of the best young outfielders in the game, with three more years of control until he hits free agency in 2026. At 27 years old, the Yankees could easily trade for him and retain Aaron Judge, building the strongest outfield in baseball.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Jason Mackey stated that the Yankees were “very much” in the mix for Bryan Reynolds, which would completely change their off-season approach.
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The Yankees could re-strategize and build through the OF:
The Bombers trading for Reynolds would completely change their off-season strategy, especially if they have to give up Peraza as well in the process. Peraza projects to be the team’s starting shortstop moving forward, but after signing Isiah Kiner-Falefa to a one-year, $6 million deal, they could utilize him until Anthony Volpe is ready to make the jump.
At the moment, the Yankees still have Gleyber Torres with several years of control, and Volpe isn’t accruing any MLB service time just yet. In addition, Josh Donaldson is still on the roster for the 2023 season, so trading Peraza doesn’t put them in a terrible spot, just one that will require a bit of time to help Volpe transition.
In the same breath, the outfield would feature Judge, Harrison Bader, and Reynolds, who’s coming off another potent offensive season. He hit .262 with a 34.5% on-base rate, including 27 homers and 62 RBIs this past campaign.
Featuring a 23% strike-out rate and 9.1% walk rate, he shows patience at the plate, utilizing a switch-hitting bat, which would essentially replace Aaron Hicks.
Reynolds will earn about $6.75 million this upcoming season, a fantastic price for a premium outfielder. Now, the Yankees would have to give up Peraza and multiple other top prospects to get the deal done. General manager Brian Cashman would conceivably try to avoid including Jasson Dominguez in a prospective deal since he projects to be a future asset as a 5-tool prospect.
With the free agency market heating up as the winter meetings continue, the Yankees need to begin acquiring instead of waiting for Judge to make a decision.
If Judge takes too long, Cashman may be sitting with second-tier options left after Trea Turner signed an 11-year, $300 million deal with the Philadelphia Phillies. Starting pitchers Jacob deGrom and Justin Verlander are off the board, so things are moving quickly, and the Yanks seem to be stuck in quicksand.