The Top 10 Landing Spots for Pirates' Bryan Reynolds Amid MLB Trade Rumors

Brandon ScottDecember 21, 2022

The Top 10 Landing Spots for Pirates' Bryan Reynolds Amid MLB Trade Rumors

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    PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 25: Bryan Reynolds #10 of the Pittsburgh Pirates reacts as he crosses home plate after hitting a solo home run in the sixth inning during the game against the Chicago Cubs at PNC Park on September 25, 2022 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
    Justin Berl/Getty Images

    Now that the free-agent market is mostly settled, the next major player movement to monitor will be trades.

    For teams unable to check off their free-agent wishlist, it's still possible they can address some needs by making deals.

    Pittsburgh Pirates All-Star center fielder Bryan Reynolds officially requested a trade earlier this month after the two sides failed to agree on an extension.

    The Pirates have all the leverage here. Reynolds' contract is under team control for the next three years, and the team has shown little interest in trading him.

    Their price has been reported as "astronomical" for more than a year, well before Reynolds requested a trade.

    That's with good reason. He has a lifetime 126 wRC+ and 127 OPS+, an instant upgrade to any team.

    With that in mind, let's take a look at the top 10 landing spots for Reynolds as trade rumors loom.

New York Yankees

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    NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 20: (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT)  Bryan Reynolds #10 of the Pittsburgh Pirates in action against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on September 20, 2022 in the Bronx borough of New York City. The Yankees defeated the Pirates 9-8. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    With the Yankees' No. 1 plan for left fielder no longer being an option for them, a trade for Bryan Reynolds makes sense.

    Ideally, the Yankees would have re-signed Andrew Benintendi, who they just traded for midseason, but he went back to the AL Central in a free-agent deal with the Chicago White Sox.

    Losing Benintendi in free agency has to be a gut punch to the Yankees, considering they gave up three decent prospects to acquire the outfielder and he wasn't even healthy during the postseason stretch.

    So, trading more assets for Reynolds would seemingly add insult to injury, considering the Pirates' reportedly high asking price.

    But it would address a clear need for the Yankees, who are also more than capable of signing Reynolds to the long-term extension he's seeking.

Cleveland Guardians

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    PITTSBURGH, PA - JUNE 20: Bryan Reynolds #10 of the Pittsburgh Pirates in action during the game against the Cleveland Indians at PNC Park on June 20, 2021 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
    Justin Berl/Getty Images

    This team showed itself to be way ahead of schedule in terms of development and being ready to compete. The Chicago White Sox were supposed to win an improved AL Central last year, but it was the young Guardians who emerged on top.

    The main thing they were missing, though: thump. A power hitter added to their lineup would heighten Cleveland's ceiling in what is now clearly a wide-open division, possibly even theirs for the taking.

    The Guardians did a good job of hitting for average (.254, ranked sixth in baseball) and getting on base (.316, 12th). But they were in the bottom third of the league in slugging (.383) and next to last in home runs.

    Reynolds' .481 career slugging percentage and ability to hit 20-plus home runs in a season would go a long way in improving Cleveland's lackluster power numbers.

    Paul Hoynes of reported earlier this month the two teams have been in contact about a possible trade for Reynolds.

San Francisco Giants

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    SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 12: Pittsburgh Pirates center fielder Bryan Reynolds (10) walks back to the dugout after striking out during the MLB professional baseball game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the San Francisco Giants on August 12, 2022 at Oracle Park in San Francisco, CA. (Photo by Bob Kupbens/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
    Bob Kupbens/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    Reynolds is a former Giants prospect who they ended up trading to Pittsburgh almost five years ago for Andrew McCutchen.

    It's a deal that has aged like milk. McCutchen was fine in 130 games for the Giants, hitting .255 with 15 home runs and 55 RBI. But they ended up trading him to the New York Yankees that same season, while Reynolds turned into an All-Star outfielder.

    The Giants must have known what they had in Reynolds. He was their second-round pick in 2016, tore it up in the minor leagues and participated in the 2017 All-Star Futures Game.

    Now wouldn't be a bad time to revisit that potential. It seems less likely after San Francisco signed Mitch Haniger and re-signed Joc Pederson in free agency.

    But with Reynolds playing center field at a high level over the past two seasons, it would make sense for the Giants and be an obvious fit.

Boston Red Sox

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    BRADENTON, FL - MARCH 29: Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Bryan Reynolds (10) slides safely at second base with a double during a spring training baseball game against the Boston Red Sox on March 29, 2022 at LECOM Park in Bradenton, Florida. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
    Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    Former MLB general manager Jim Bowden named the Red Sox as the top landing spot for Reynolds when his trade request became public earlier this month.

    It's good to know the Red Sox are actually interested in acquiring good players, rather than dealing them away or letting them walk.

    Coming off a last-place finish in the AL East, addressing their holes in the outfield should be a top priority for Boston. The best free-agent options are mostly long gone, making a Reynolds trade even more pertinent.

    The Pirates' asking price is believed to be steep, and they are more inclined not to trade Reynolds at all. Yet the Red Sox have one of the better farm systems in baseball with three top-100 prospects—two infielders and a right-handed pitcher.

    Boston doesn't have a lot of outfield depth past Kiké Hernández and Alex Verdugo. Reynolds is better than both in center field and could play the corner outfield spots when necessary.

Los Angeles Dodgers

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 01: Bryan Reynolds #10 of the Pittsburgh Pirates hits a two-run home run against starting pitcher Mitch White of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the fifth inning at Dodger Stadium on June 1, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
    Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

    The Dodgers non-tendered Cody Bellinger, who played 144 games in center field for them last season. It's reasonable to say the Dodgers would like to upgrade at that position, given Bellinger has been the worst-hitting MLB center fielder the past two seasons.

    Reynolds addresses their need for a left-handed or switch-hitter. He was also identified by The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal as a trade possibility for the Dodgers, who have been unusually quiet this offseason.

    Trayce Thompson was a cool story for them, and Chris Taylor would be just fine for the Dodgers in center field. But they also have one of the best farm systems in baseball and could meet the Pirates' asking price.

    They also can afford to extend Reynolds, which would be worth considering after swinging and missing in free agency.

Miami Marlins

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    MIAMI, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 17:  Bryan Reynolds #10 of the Pittsburgh Pirates  hits a double in the third inning against the Miami Marlins at loanDepot park on September 17, 2021 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)
    Eric Espada/Getty Images

    There is no way around the fact Miami had a light-hitting team last season and desperately needs to add some pop.

    The Marlins ranked 28th in slugging (.363) and 24th in home runs. Their pitching is really good, but the offense leaves a lot to be desired. Here is a reasonable trade that makes them marginally better without killing their future.

    A Reynolds trade could include Trevor Rogers or a top-100 prospect like right-handed pitcher Max Meyer. Miami has the pitching depth to survive this.

    What the Marlins need is power in the lineup and, overall, more impact players.

    They have shown interest in the past, and there is no reason it should be different now.

    Former MLB general manager Jim Bowden ranked the Marlins second on a list of potential landing spots for Reynolds.

Toronto Blue Jays

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    Pittsburgh Pirates' Bryan Reynolds rounds the bases after a solo home run during a spring training baseball game against the Toronto Blue Jays, Thursday, March 12, 2020, in Bradenton, Fla. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
    AP Photo/Carlos Osorio

    The Blue Jays were identified by MLB Network's Jon Morosi as a team to watch in the Reynolds trade market.

    They want to add an athletic switch-hitter and have shown interest in Reynolds, according to Morosi.

    Reynolds would no doubt be a fit with Toronto. It would allow 33-year-old George Springer, who is often injured, to move from center field to the corner. Toronto also has an opening after trading Teoscar Hernández to the Seattle Mariners.

    While Reynolds is not regarded as a great defensive center fielder, the dimensions at Roger Centre would be much friendlier to him than PNC Park.

    The major question for Toronto is the steep price. Morosi mentioned specifically in his report linking the Blue Jays to Reynolds that it would likely cost them top prospects Ricky Tiedemann and Orelvis Martinez.

    Then Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported the Blue Jays as a team "chasing young outfielders in trades" and cited rival general managers lamenting the Pirates' asking price.

Seattle Mariners

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    PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 18:  Bryan Reynolds #10 of the Pittsburgh Pirates in action during the game against the Seattle Mariners at PNC Park on September 18, 2019 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
    Joe Sargent/Getty Images

    The Mariners are another team with prior interest in Reynolds. Reporters in both Seattle and Pittsburgh have mentioned the two teams as potential trade partners.

    Jason Mackey, Pirates beat writer for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, told 710 AM in Seattle it would probably take two major league-ready players and a prospect to get Reynolds.

    How aggressive the Mariners are could depend on what they think of Jarred Kelenic, a former top prospect who's shown flashes but had a disappointing first two big league seasons.

    Trading for Reynolds to play left field would absolutely be an upgrade. The Mariners just have to decide if it's worth parting with their top prospects.

    They have just one in the top 100, catcher Harry Ford (No. 65). And if there is a chance Kelenic can still live up to expectations, that's worth exploring.

    But the Mariners are so close, and Reynolds gets them a lot closer to where they want to be.

Atlanta Braves

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    ATLANTA, GA - JUNE 12: Bryan Reynolds #10 of the Pittsburgh Pirates is out at second by Dansby Swanson #7 of the Atlanta Braves after a stolen base attempt during the eighth inning at Truist Park on June 12, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
    Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

    Reigning NL Rookie of the Year Michael Harris II is the center fielder of the future in Atlanta. But this team needs a corner outfielder and designated hitter option just as badly as it needs to address the shortstop position recently vacated by Dansby Swanson in free agency.

    A trade for Reynolds would fix a glaring need in the corner outfield, where Atlanta currently relies on Eddie Rosario and Marcell Ozuna. The options at DH are just as iffy.

    Rob Biertempfel, who covers the Pirates for The Athletic, cited a major league source who said Atlanta could make "a strong, under-the-radar push for Reynolds this winter."

    There should be a sense of urgency in Atlanta, given what the division rival New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies are doing in free agency to separate themselves from the competition.

Texas Rangers

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    Pittsburgh Pirates' Bryan Reynolds(10) leads off second base against the Texas Rangers during the fourth inning of a baseball game Wednesday May 1, 2019, in Arlington, Texas. Reynolds doubled to drive in three runs. (AP Photo/Mike Stone)
    AP Photo/Mike Stone

    These past two offseasons have made the Rangers' intentions clear. They want to compete and are willing to add players at astronomical costs to do so.

    The Rangers signed Corey Seager and Marcus Semien to megadeals last offseason, then just added Jacob deGrom.

    They are still lacking in the outfield, and Reynolds would immediately address the need.

    With six of's top 90 prospects, the Rangers have a strong enough farm system to offer the Pirates a competitive deal.

    B/R colleague Kerry Miller made the best case for Reynolds-to-Texas ahead of the winter meetings earlier this month.

    The Rangers did not land Brandon Nimmo or Cody Bellinger in free agency. Reynolds is owed $6.8 million in 2023 and arbitration-eligible the next two years before hitting free agency. That's a bargain for a team looking to compete as soon as possible.