Early in December, reports began to circulate that Pirates outfielder Bryan Reynolds reportedly wants out of Pittsburgh. It will, however, most likely take a substantial deal for the Pirates to move him. Reynolds is set to be a free agent after the 2025 season, meaning that nay team that does acquire him at this juncture would possess his three remaining years of controllability. But if the Pirates do look to trade Reynolds, which teams make the most sense? Here’s a look at five contenders that could use the services of the star outfielder.
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The Yankees seem very much like a logical candidate for a Bryan Reynolds deal. New York is set at center and right field for 2023 with the return of Aaron Judge. Left field, much like in 2022, is a question mark at this point. Last season, both Joey Gallo and Aaron Hicks struggled at the plate, which put the Yankees in the market for a corner outfielder come the Trade Deadline. The Yankees found one in Andrew Benintendi, but the now-former Yankee missed virtually all of September and the entire postseason due to a wrist injury.
An outfield of Reynolds, Judge, and Harrison Bader would be among baseball’s best, but pulling a deal of this kind off might be tough for the Yankees. As things stand right now, it sounds like the Pirates are reportedly targeting starters in any potential deal for the All-Star outfielder. The Yankees have a number of intriguing bats at the top of prospect food chain, including Oswald Peraza, Anthony Volpe, and Jasson Dominguez. But after a flurry of deals this past summer, the Yanks don’t have much to deal on pitching end.
Much like the Yankees, an upgrade at left would not hurt the Atlanta Braves. Atlanta boasts two of the best outfielders in Michael Harris II and Ronald Acuna Jr., but it gets murky in left. Eddie Rosario played a vital role in the Braves’ run to the World Series in 2021, but batted just .212/.259/.328 last season. Atlanta did add two outfielders in recent weeks, in Jordan Luplow and Sam Hilliard. Both, however, have career batting averages below .215.
The addition of Reynolds would put the former Vanderbilt product in a lineup alongside of the game’s premier hitters. But, would Atlanta have, or be willing to part with the assets needed to facilitate a trade? Atlanta just traded two of the team’s best prospects in Kyle Muller and Freddy Tarnok, as well as William Contreras, to pick up Sean Murphy from the A’s. Would Atlanta, if needed, be willing to trade some of its other young arms like Bryce Elder or Jared Shuster to get Reynolds?
The White Sox outfield yielded less-than-ideal results in 2022. Gavin Sheets and AJ Pollock both posted OPS+ figures below league average last season, while Luis Robert had multiple stays on the IL.
Chicago did address the outfield earlier in the offseason, as the White Sox signed All-Star left fielder Andrew Benintendi to a four-year deal. Still, a second addition for the White Sox wouldn’t hurt. After a season in which Chicago failed to live up to expectations, the White Sox could use an added boost in a division that includes a competitive Twins team and a young Guardians squad that won the AL Central last season.
Seattle has already made a number of significant changes to its outfield for next season. Teoscar Hernández comes over from Toronto via trade, joining forces with 2022 AL Rookie of the Year winner Julio Rodriguez. Left field, as things stand right now, appears to be Jarred Kelenic‘s job to lose with Kyle Lewis and Jesse Winker off to other teams. Kelenic, though, has yet to make an impact at the MLB level. Across 558 plate appearances over two seasons, the Wisconsin native has hit just .168/.251/.338.
Kelenic is still quite young (23), but it’s not hard to picture Reynolds at Safeco Field. The M’s are ready to compete now, and Reynolds would serve as a significant upgrade for Seattle’s offense in 2023.
Los Angeles fits the bill as a content for Bryan Reynolds, for a number of reasons. For one, the addition of a player like Reynolds would serve as a significant upgrade for the Dodgers outfield. Besides Mookie Betts, LA is slated to run Chris Taylor and Trayce Thompson in the outfield next season. Taylor struggled in 2022, as the infielder/outfielder recorded an OPS+ of just 86. And with Cody Bellinger out of the picture, Trayce Thompson (145 OPS+, 13 HR in 74 games) looks to be a regular in 2023. Thompson performed well last season, but both him and Taylor were among the game’s worst offenders in terms of swings and misses.
Second, Los Angeles had a deep farm system. The Dodgers have interesting young arms like Ryan Pepiot and Bobby Miller, and potential regulars in Miguel Vargas, Michael Busch, and Andy Pages. If Los Angeles is willing to deal from its cache of prospects, a deal for Reynolds doesn’t sound crazy.