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Pirates All 40: Bryan Reynolds – To Be Or Not To Be A Pirate In 2023?



Bryan Reynolds

This is the one in a series of stories looking at members of the Pittsburgh Pirates 40-man roster.

Coming off of his first career All-Star appearance in 2021, Bryan Reynolds may not have had the same kind of season he did in 2022, but he still did good things for the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Reynolds was the Pirates best performer at the plate over the course of the 162-game slate last season.

Reynolds hit .262 and posted an .807 OPS, giving him his third season of at least an .800 OPS in his four-year major league career.

The 27-year-old whacked a career-high 27 home runs and drove in 62 runs for the Bucs. For the second straight year, he led the club in most offensive statistics including batting average, on-base percentage, slugging, home runs and RBIs.

After a slow start to the season, Reynolds hit .285 with an .860 OPS and 20 long balls over the final 100 games of the year.

While he was able to find his groove at the plate, Reynolds saw his defense take a step back in center field. A year after being named a Gold Glove finalist, Reynolds posted a discouraging -14 defensive runs saved mark in 2022.

The poor defensive showing, combined with a step back at the plate, resulted in a 2.9 WAR for Reynolds by both Baseball Reference and Fangraphs. For compairison, Reynolds had a 6+ WAR by both a season ago.

Now comes the time to address the 10,000-pound elephant in the room.

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Earlier this offseason, it was reported that Reynolds requested to be traded by the Pirates. Extension talks did not progress in a way that the Bucs’ centerfielder wanted, and Reynolds asked to be on a new team in 2023 and beyond.

Even with the request, it is no guarantee that the Pirates will trade the services of Reynolds prior to the start of the regular season.

Pittsburgh still has control over Reynolds for the next three seasons. Reynolds, who will turn 28 in January, will make $6.75M in 2023 before two more years of arbitration.

There has been no indication that Reynolds’ trade request has altered the Pirates’ plans. While teams have been calling to inquire about a possible trade for a couple years now, the Pirates don’t seem inclined to move him unless their bar is met.

With his pedigree and his contractual control, Reynolds has a high value in trade negotiations.

Keep in mind, it only takes one team to convince GM Ben Cherington to pull the trigger on a deal. Until then, Reynolds will remain with the organization — at least for the time being.

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