Most of the big moves of the MLB offseason have already been made, especially when it comes to free agency, but there’s still some activity that could happen on the trade market. There are still a couple of big names who could get moved, but none are bigger than Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Bryan Reynolds, who requested a trade off of the Pirates earlier this offseason.
Reynolds is one of the top outfielders in the game, and ever since his trade request went public, he’s drawn a ton of interest on the market. The problem is that the Pirates don’t seem to be in any rush to trade Reynolds for whatever reason, and that has resulted in a mammoth asking price being established for Reynolds.
As of right now, a trade doesn’t seem imminent for Reynolds, but the Texas Rangers are one of the many teams that have emerged as a potential suitor for the star outfielder should he get moved. It may be a bit of a steep price, but Texas has put together a very aggressive offseason, and if they want to continue that trend, here’s the perfect trade offer that may convince Pittsburgh to part with Reynolds.
Rangers get: Bryan Reynolds
Pirates get: Jack Leiter, Luisangel Acuna, Cole Ragans
The Pirates don’t really have any shot of contending for a World Series anytime soon, so it doesn’t really make sense as to why they are so set on holding onto Reynolds. The two sides are pretty far apart when it comes to a potential contract extension, and it makes sense to get rid of Reynolds and get something in return for him. But Pitttsburgh’s front office seems to think otherwise for whatever reason.
It’s not hard to see why Reynolds is such a sought after trade target across the league right now. He doesn’t get as much attention as he should, but that’s typically what happens when you play for one of the worst teams in the league. Reynolds 2022 campaign was very strong (.262 BA, 27 HR, 62 RBI, .807 OPS) and that’s production the Rangers could desperately use in their outfield for the upcoming season.
What would it take to get a deal done here? The Rangers would part with a pair of top-100 prospects, and another major-league ready player in order to get this deal done. It’s a bit of a steep price, but Texas has taken a lot of steps towards building a playoff contender this offseason, and adding Reynolds would reinforce the notion that they want to win as soon as possible.
The biggest piece of this deal would be Jack Leiter, who the Rangers took with the second overall pick of the 2021 MLB Draft. Leiter looked great in his first season in the minors, but struggled mightily at Double-A last season. Leiter’s numbers were horrific (3-10, 5.54 ERA, 109 K, 1.55 WHIP) and there’s concern that he may have hit a roadblock in his development.
Leiter is still a really bright young prospect, and the Pirates would likely be thrilled to land him in this deal. With the Rangers trying to become a playoff contender now, they simply may not have the time to wait for him to develop at this point, and if moving him nets them Reynolds, that would probably be an OK outcome.
Luisangel Acuna is another one of the Rangers top prospects, who spends most of his time in the middle infield at shortstop and second base. Acuna made the jump to Double-A after dominating at High-A early in the season, and while he struggled initially, there’s still a lot to like about his game. Acuna’s final numbers from 2022 are strong (.277 BA, 11 HR, 47 RBI, 40 SB, .795 OPS) but it’s clear he still has some work to do at the plate moving forward.
The final prospect in this pool is Cole Ragans, who appears to be ready for the majors, and would immediately be able to find a spot in the Pirates rotation most likely. Ragans started at Double-A and eventually made his way to the majors, and while he wasn’t great in his first stint in the majors (0-3, 4.95 ERA, 27 K, 1.48 WHIP) it’s clear he has the potential to have a big season in 2023.
These three guys would help build up the Pirates farm system even more, and Ragans could even contribute to the major-league squad in 2023. Pittsburgh isn’t going to be contending for a playoff spot anytime soon, so there’s really no sense to hang onto Reynolds when they could get a prospect-laden package like this one. It may be a bit of an expensive price to pay for the Rangers, but they have been making tons of big moves over the past two offseasons, and they could cap things off by swinging this big trade to land Reynolds.