All seems quiet on the Bryan Reynolds trade front again following a bit of news that stirred things up last week.
It was reported that Reynolds turned down a six-year, $75-million contract extension offer from the Pirates at some point in 2022. That, in turn, led the center fielder to ask for a trade last month.
Yet while many teams have filled most of the holes in their rosters with the start of spring training barely more than a month away, there is still considerable interest in Reynolds.
The Pirates continue to drive a hard bargain for Reynolds and rightfully so. He is a quality player and does not become eligible for free agency until the end of the 2025 season.
In talking with various sources throughout baseball in recent days, it seems five teams stand the best chance of landing Reynolds – if the Pirates trade him – the Colorado Rockies, Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees, Seattle Mariners and Texas Rangers.
The Pirates are said to be looking for a premium pitching prospect to be part of a potential return for Reynolds. That makes sense. The Pirates have such pitching prospects as Quinn Priester, Luis Ortiz and Mike Burrows but would like to deepen the pool.
With that in mind, there are two teams who stand out as matching up best with the Pirates in a Reynolds trade. They are the Dodgers and Rangers.
The Dodgers have three right-handed pitchers who rank among the game’s top 100 prospects according to both Baseball America and MLB.com.
At the top of the list is Bobby Miller, who is ranked No. 21 by Baseball America and No. 26 by MLB.com. Ryan Pepiot is at No. 50 and No. 74 and Gavin Stone checks in at No. 52 and No. 77.
Miller, 23, was a combined 7-7 with a 4.25 ERA in 24 games (23 starts) with Triple-A Oklahoma City and Double-A Tulsa last season. The Dodgers selected him in the first round of the 2020 draft from the University of Louisville, where he was teammates with Pirates catching prospect Henry Davis.
Pepiot, 25, made his major-league debut last May 11 against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park and pitched three scoreless innings in a no-decision. He wound up going 3-0 with a 3.47 ERA in nine games (seven starts).
The Dodgers’ third-round pick in 2019 from Butler University, Pepiot went 9-1 with a 2.56 ERA in 19 games (17 starts) for Oklahoma City last year.
Los Angeles also got Stone in the 2020 draft, taking him in the fifth round from the University of Georgia. He pitched at three levels of the minor leagues last year, finishing at Oklahoma City and going 9-6 combined with a 1.48 ERA in 26 games (25 starts).
The Rangers also have three right-handed pitching prospects ranked in the top 100, led by right-hander Jack Leiter at No. 61 on Baseball America’s list and ranked 45th by MLB.com.
The son of longtime major league left-hander Al Leiter and a former Vanderbilt University standout was given strong consideration by the Pirates in 2021 when they had the first overall draft pick. They instead took Davis, and the Rangers chose Leiter at No. 2.
Leiter, 22, had a rough professional debut season, though, in 2022. He went 3-10 with a 5.54 ERA for Double-A Frisco over 23 games (22 starts).
MLB.com has Owen White at No. 59 and Brock Porter at No. 89.
White, 23, was the Rangers’ second-round pick in 2018 following his senior season of high school in China Grove, N.C. (insert old-school Doobie Brothers riff here). He had a 9-2 overall record and 3.59 ERA in 15 games (14 starts) with Frisco and High-A Hickory in 2022,
The Rangers chose Porter in the fourth round of last year’s draft. The 19-year-old prep pitcher from Orchard Lake, Mich., has yet to appear in a professional game.
Will one of these six pitching prospects become Pittsburgh Pirates’ property? It could certainly happen.