Pirates general manager Ben Cherington discussed the possibility of signing star outfielder Bryan Reynolds to a long-term contract extension on his weekly radio show Sunday afternoon, after the Pirates and Reynolds agreed to a two-year contract to avoid arbitration on Thursday.
“We want nothing more than to build a winning team with [Reynolds] on it and his teammates on it. If it makes sense to discuss something in the middle of the season, we will keep an open mind to that,” said Cherington on a possible in-season extension to Reynolds or anyone deserving of one.
Cherington alluded to this time of year being more of a time to focus on playing baseball and letting things happen and play out.
“We want to try and focus most of our energy on the field and on the games themselves,” he said.
Cherington seemed to keep the door slightly ajar on a potential in-season extension for Reynolds, but he wanted to emphasize that the Pirates wanted to focus on the regular season and pour the majority of their energy on the games themselves.
“The regular season is extremely important, and we want to have as much energy as possible to make it through the season,” Cherington said.
Reynolds avoided arbitration on Thursday, agreeing to a two-year deal worth 13.5 million over those two years. If the Pirates were to sign Reynolds to an extension, one might expect a similar type of deal Ke’Bryan Hayes received, but obviously, the All-Star would demand an even greater premium than they one the Pirates paid to Hayes, which set a record as the largest single contract in team history.
So far on the season, Reynolds is batting .273 with an OPS of .769 in 35 plate appearances. Last season, he played in 159 games and hit .302 with a .912 OPS and a career-high 24 home runs. He made the 2021 MLB All-Star Game, and was an all-star for the first time in his career.