SAN DIEGO – Derek Shelton isn’t concerned that his center fielder has requested a trade.
The Pittsburgh Pirates manager stopped short Monday of saying Bryan Reynolds will be in the opening-day lineup next season. However, Shelton also said he doesn’t think any disenchantment Reynolds has over not yet reaching terms on a contract extension with the Pirates will linger.
Shelton met with the media during baseball’s Winter Meetings at the Manchester Hyatt.
“I think it’s unfortunate when things become public like that,” Shelton said. “Our expectation is that Bryan Reynolds is going to be who Bryan Reynolds is on the field. We’ve talked continuously about the way he plays the game and the effort he gives. In my conversations with him, I don’t think that’s going to change.
“The business side we will let be handled. My expectation is Bryan Reynolds will continue to be the player that he is.”
Whether he continues to be that player with the Pittsburgh Pirates remains to be seen. The teams interested in Reynolds stretch into double digits.
Reynolds is signed through next season and is under contractual control through 2025 before he can become a free agent. Thus, he could fit into almost any team’s budget.
Shelton said he talked to Reynolds last week before the trade request became public and the two had a good conversation.
“We talked through some things,” Shelton said. “You guys (the media) know me. Any conversation I have with a player will stay private. But overall, the tone of the conversation was good.”
If Reynolds is not traded and reports to spring training, he will likely be asked about it for at least the first few days of camp. However, Shelton does not believe the low-key Reynolds will be a distraction.
“I don’t think that anything is going to affect the way Bryan Reynolds is as a player, the way he is in the clubhouse,” Shelton said. “He’s such a good human being that I don’t think any of this stuff will affect our clubhouse at all.”