MLB Rumors: Bryan Reynolds, Pirates Agree to 2-Year Contract amid Trade Buzz

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVApril 14, 2022

Pittsburgh Pirates' Bryan Reynolds grounds into a double play during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals Sunday, April 10, 2022, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
AP Photo/Jeff Roberson

The Pittsburgh Pirates and center fielder Bryan Reynolds reportedly reached an agreement on a two-year contract Thursday.

According to ESPN's Jeff Passan, the deal will allow both sides to avoid arbitration and runs through 2023, although Reynolds cannot become a free agent until after the 2025 season since he is Super 2 eligible.

Per MLB Network's Jon Heyman, Reynolds will earn a total of $13.5 million over the next two years as part of the deal

At the end of March, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported that the San Diego Padres had engaged with the Pirates in trade talks involving Reynolds.

The 27-year-old Reynolds has consistently been the Pirates' best hitter since making his MLB debut in 2019.

Reynolds, who was acquired by Pittsburgh in 2018 as part of the trade that sent Andrew McCutchen to the San Francisco Giants, finished fourth in the National League Rookie of the Year voting three seasons ago when he hit .314 with 16 home runs, 68 RBI and 83 runs.

While his batting average surprisingly dropped to .189 during the COVID-19-shortened 2020 campaign, Reynolds proved it was an aberration.

He bounced back in a big way last season, hitting .302 and setting career highs with a .390 on-base percentage, 24 homers, 90 RBI, 93 runs scored and an NL-leading eight triples.

Reynolds earned his first career All-Star selection as a result and entered 2022 as the linchpin of Pittsburgh's lineup along with third baseman Ke'Bryan Hayes.

The Pirates have been hard at work locking up their core early in the 2022 season, as the Reynolds deal came just one week after agreeing to an eight-year, $70 million contract with Hayes.

Pittsburgh is expected to be one of the worst teams in MLB this year after having missed the playoffs in each of the past six seasons.

The Pirates are firmly in rebuilding mode, but signing Reynolds could be a sign that they are committed to at least being competitive and providing the best product they can.

At the same time, the new contract doesn't impact how long the Pirates have Reynolds under team control, meaning trading him remains a real possibility, and it may now be easier to do so since there is some certainty regarding his compensation for the next two years.