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Pirates’ Winter Meetings Primer: Plenty Of Storylines To Follow

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Pittsburgh Pirates

Major League Baseball’s annual winter meetings kicked off in sunny San Diego as all 30 teams convene to one place. It’s the first time the meetings have taken place since 2019 as they were cancelled in 2020 (Covid pandemic) and in 2021 (lockout).

This week tends to lead to plenty of action both in the free agent market and on the trade front. With front office executives, coaches, agents, players and plenty of other personnel in attendance, the hot stove heats up.

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For the Pittsburgh Pirates, the week is sure to bring buzz on rumors and potential deals. General manager Ben Cherington will be busy.

There are plenty of storylines to keep an eye on.

Bryan Reynolds Trade Request

Bryan Reynolds is a solid ballplayer and has been the subject of trade buzz the past couple years. The buzz may have taken a step further as it was reported on Saturday that he requested to be traded from the Pirates.

Now, the Pirates face an interesting dilemma on what to do with their 2021 All-Star outfielder.

Teams will be calling the Pirates to try and pry Reynolds away. The asking price for the services of the 27-year-old is rightfully high, and Cherington will be seeking a big return for Reynolds.

While the Pirates expressed that they still have no desire to trade Reynolds, will the latest developments ultimately cause the Bucs to switch course?

Expect to hear plenty of rumors on Reynolds from San Diego this week.

Roster Improvement

While the Pirates deal with Reynolds trade discussions, they’ll also be looking to add to the big league club to fill out the roster.

Pittsburgh has already been active, bringing in first basemen Ji-Man Choi and Carlos Santana. Still, there are other holes on the roster which need to be filled.

The Pirates currently do not have a catcher with MLB Experience on their 40-man roster. Look for the Bucs to be active in the catching market. They’ll add at least one backstop, and it could happen at the meetings.

Additionally, the Pirates will be looking for pitching upgrades, both in the rotation and bullpen. Left-handed pitching is of need as the Bucs currently have zero southpaws on their roster.

The Pirates could explore the outfield market as well, especially in wake of the Reynolds situation.

Rule 5 Draft

The Rule 5 draft is set for Wednesday. With two open spots on the 40-man roster, the Pirates could end up making a selection.

We highlighted some potential targets for the Pirates, which can be found here.

The Pirates will have to see if any of the players they left unprotected get selected by one of the other teams in the league. Catcher Blake Sabol, outfielder Matt Gorski and first baseman Malcom Nunez are among the players the Bucs are at risk of losing.

Draft Lottery

For the first time in league history, MLB will have a draft lottery, which will be held on Tuesday night.

The Pirates are one of three teams (A’s, Nationals), with the best odds at landing the top pick (16.5%).

18 teams make up the MLB draft lottery, and the Pirates will know where they will be picking in the 2023 MLB draft on Tuesday.

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