SAN DIEGO – Ben Cherington has worked in baseball long enough to know that anything is possible.
Thus, the Pittsburgh Pirates’ general manager said he was not caught off guard Saturday when center fielder Bryan Reynolds’ request for a trade became public. Reynolds reported wants out of Pittsburgh after talks on a contract extension with the Pirates stalled.
“I think that we anticipated that — not long ago — this may be something that happens as we head to the Winter Meetings,” Cherington said Monday during the meetings at the Manchester Hyatt. “In the way that it did, sort of it is what it is. There’s someone who felt like there was an advantage to doing that and I can’t speak for someone else’s action.”
It doesn’t take a master class in logic to deduce Cherington was referring to Reynolds’ agents. The Pirates believe privately the request was not Reynolds’ idea.
Cherington is not bothered by the request and indicated there is no urgency to accommodate Reynolds’ wishes.
“I’m focused on what we’re doing here and thinking about that,” Cherington said. “As I’ve said many times before, we really admire Bryan as a player, we appreciate who he is in terms of a player. He plays hard, has a lot of tenacity, and is somebody we respect.”
Teams continue to talk to the Pittsburgh Pirates about Reynolds.
The Seattle Mariners, according to a baseball source, have expressed “significant interest” in the 27-year-old. The Mariners have many pitching prospects close to being for the major leagues, including Taylor Dollard, Emerson Hancock, and Bryce Miller.
Hancock was the sixth overall pick in the 2020 amateur draft.
Atlanta has been mentioned as a possible trade partner. However, a Braves’ source called the chances of a deal unlikely unless they could get someone to take on the contracts of outfielders Marcell Ozuna and/or Eddie Rosario.
The Toronto Blue Jays have emerged as a possibility. The switch-hitting Reynolds would fit nicely into what is currently an all-right-handed hitting lineup.
The Pirates reportedly are interested in left-handed pitching prospect Ricky Tiedemann. The 20-year-old finished last season at the Double-A level.
Cherington politely declined to say if the Pirates remain interested in signing Reynolds to a long-term deal. Reynolds is not eligible for free agency until after the 2025 season.
“I feel like conversations with players should be between the team and player,” Cherington said. “I’m not going to change my position on that now. I’ve said before how much we appreciate him as a player. He’s the type of player, of course, we’d want to have in Pittsburgh for a long time.”