Demilio: Turns Out Pirates Lowballed An All-Star
Having interacted with and seen Bryan Reynolds on the field, it takes a lot to tick off the usually even-keeled 2021 National League All-Star.
Reynolds was ejected from a game for the first time in his career this previous season for arguing balls and strikes with home plate umpire Roberto Ortiz.
Other than that lone instance, not much seems to get under Reynolds’ skin.
That’s why Reynolds’ trade request earlier in the offseason raised some eyebrows. It’s certainly something I didn’t see coming from a player like Reynolds, who previously expressed a desire to remain in Pittsburgh for the long haul.
After seeing the Pirates’ reported extension offer to Reynolds, it’s clear why the request was made.
According to Jon Heyman of the New York Post, the Pirates offered Reynolds a six-year contract extension worth roughly $75M, reportedly coming in higher than that number.
The total value of the deal would set a new franchise mark, but that really isn’t saying much in the grand scheme of things.
Only three other teams have yet to hand out a nine-figure deal in their history — the Oakland A’s, the Kansas City Royals and the Chicago White Sox.
Fans surely want to see the Pirates try and lock up the services of Reynolds, but that is an offer that never should have been made.
The offer came in significantly less than what the Reynolds’ camp was looking for and not just in value. It understandably led to the decision to Reynolds asking to be wearing a different uniform in 2023.
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The offer the Pirates made was not only a lowball offer that had no shot of being accepted, but it resulted in virtually the worst-case scenario for arguably the team’s best player.
The deal not only seemingly stalled any type of negotiation, but it even reached the point where the Pirates are now at a crossroads.
General manager Ben Cherington has stated publicly that the Pirates want Reynolds to remain in Pittsburgh and why wouldn’t they?
Over the past two seasons, Reynolds has combined to slash .283/.368/.492 with 54 doubles, 51 home runs and 152 RBIs. He’s been an All-Star starter, received MVP votes and was a Gold Glove finalist in 2021.
Now, if the Pirates don’t get a trade offer for Reynolds that meets their value threshold, they have an unnecessary distraction heading into opening day at the end of March — one that easily could have been avoided.
For a small-market team, the nickel-and-dime approach, while frustrating, does make sense in certain situations. But not when trying to sign your star player to a long-term deal.
If the Pirates want to try and remedy the situation, they need to come back with an actual offer that could at least revive negotiations between the two parties and salvage the relationship.
With the offer, the Pirates not only angered Reynolds, but they further alienated a fanbase that has been increasingly frustrated with owner Bob Nutting and his lack of spending.
Just when it looked like the Pirates were making some progress in terms of opening their wallets by signing Ke’Bryan Hayes to a franchise-record deal, they have yet to build off of that.
One step forward, two steps back. That’s how it always seems to go with the Pirates.