8:04am: Reynolds spoke with reporters this morning about contract talks with the Pirates, and stated the staff has made no new affords so far (per Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic). At this stage, Reynolds has not set a deadline for a possible deal to get achieved.
7:59am: The way forward for Bryan Reynolds has dominated Pirates-related headlines ever since his commerce request early on within the low season. Hypothesis seems to be set to bleed into the spring now, and it doubtless received’t cease till the Pirates both hammer out an extension with their star outfielder or commerce him.
In accordance with Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Pirates’ finest provide to Reynolds was a six-year, $80MM deal, whereas the participant was searching for eight years and $134MM — each of which might have represented a franchise file contract. Whereas a $54MM hole is critical, proprietor Bob Nutting stated in an interview with Mackey that the staff is working onerous to try to bridge that for the time being.
“We’d like to see Bryan as a long-term a part of the staff. The piece that I used to be most involved about was his degree of frustration within the sense that he felt disrespected by the staff. If there’s a method we are able to bridge the hole, we’re working onerous to do this. We’re persevering with this week to work onerous to do it. Bryan’s vital. We wish to do what’s proper for him, for his household and for the staff. We completely have respect for Bryan. We wish to maintain traces of communication open,” Nutting stated.
The commerce request got here on the heels of that deadlock in contract negotiations, however Reynolds has nonetheless maintained his choice is to remain in Pittsburgh if the suitable deal may be discovered. On that entrance, nonetheless, it does look like make-or-break time. One other robust season of manufacturing would doubtless push an extension subsequent winter effectively out of Pittsburgh’s worth vary, and whereas the Pirates may nonetheless doubtless get a powerful package deal in return for Reynolds subsequent winter, his dwindling years of management and rising arbitration wage will make it trickier to justify the bounty they could obtain this season.
Reynolds could be a free agent following the 2025 season, which might not seem to line up completely with the Pirates’ projected window of rivalry, which could be simply opening round 2024-25. As such, an extension which retains him in Pittsburgh past 2025 or a commerce for youthful gamers with extra years of management makes loads of sense. Reynolds, 28, has established himself as one of many sport’s high outfielders in recent times. The switch-hitter has compiled 12.5 fWAR, averaging a superb .281/.361/.481 line whereas belting 74 dwelling runs over the previous 4 seasons.
In any case, there appears to be little likelihood of the Pirates following the Padres anytime quickly, and turning their small market payroll into yet one more resembling that of the sport’s heavy hitters.
“It’s a mannequin that we now have perception in and have had success with. As we diversified away from that mannequin, which arguably we did in ’17, ’18 and ’19, it doesn’t work very effectively. I believe we’re proper on the brink of seeing success. I believe what we’re persevering with to do and what we now have achieved is attempt to present self-discipline and make it possible for we’re investing in the suitable locations. I proceed to have a look at baseball as one a part of a much wider bucket,” Nutting stated.
The Bucs’ payroll has ranked thirtieth, thirtieth and twenty eighth previously three seasons, failing to clear the $60MM threshold. The Pirates have been at an analogous stage of their rebuild in 2011-12, and have been operating out bottom-three payrolls in these seasons. As their window of rivalry opened, payroll greater than doubled from 2012-15 (in line with Cot’s Baseball Contracts) because the Pirates loved a trio of playoff seasons.
Nutting’s temporary however wide-ranging interview with Mackey additionally touched on the brand new collective bargaining settlement which was agreed upon a 12 months in the past between the league and the MLB Gamers Affiliation.
“There’s no query the CBA contained a number of issues that weren’t good for the Pirates and only a few issues that have been wonderful for us. You even have to recollect there was no baseball happening. We had an actual threat of dropping the season. I felt a big sense of urgency to get on the sphere. Might have had a protest vote. That’s not likely who I’m. I’m undecided it will be good for the staff, and I don’t suppose it will be good for baseball,” Nutting stated.
“It’s the only greatest concern dealing with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Aggressive disparity, income disparity and payroll disparity are all actual challenges. I believe it’s nice [Commissioner Rob Manfred] is publicly speaking about it. We merely can’t be right here within the subsequent cycle. We’ve bought to see elementary change within the financial construction of the sport. I imagine that we’re positioned to do it — not this 12 months or subsequent 12 months however over the longer-term cycle.”