All eyes are on free agency in the MLB right now, and for good reason. But the trade market is also worth paying attention to as well, and it looks like a big name may have found his way onto the trade block. That’s because Pittsburgh Pirates star outfielder Bryan Reynolds has requested a trade off of the Pirates with their current contract talks being at an impasse.
While there was some speculation that Reynolds could be on the move this offseason as the Pirates continue onward with their lengthy rebuild, this only adds to the likelihood that he could get moved now. Pittsburgh immediately shot down Reynolds’ trade request, but anything could happen now that teams know he wants off of the Pirates.
Right now, a trade involving Reynolds doesn’t seem extremely likely, but there’s a chance he could get moved now that he has made his feelings about staying with the Pirates known. Reynolds could ultimately end up staying put, but if he does get traded, these three landing spots would be perfect fits for the Pirates outfielder.
3. Boston Red Sox
For teams looking for outfield help, Reynolds’ trade request could end up being the perfect way for them to pick up some much needed help. One such team is the Boston Red Sox. The Sox are looking to put together an aggressive offseason after finishing in last place in the American League last season, and one area they desperately need help with is their outfield.
The Sox really only have two true everyday outfielders on their roster right now in Kiké Hernandez and Alex Verdugo, and while Rob Refsnyder stepped up for them in a big way last season, it’s not worth counting on him to produce again in 2023. Adding a proven star in Reynolds would instantly Boston’s outfield woes.
Reynolds is a strong hitter at the plate (.262 BA, 27 HR, 62 RBI, .807 OPS) who can play each spot in the outfield, although he is most comfortable in center, which is where he spent most of his time in 2022. Reynolds’ bat and ability to play all over the outfield is exactly what should make the Sox interested in him, and they would be wise to try to pull off a deal here.
2. New York Yankees
The New York Yankees are doing their best to re-sign Aaron Judge, but even if he does re-sign, there are still a pair of gaping holes in the outfield that need to be filled. If Judge does end up leaving New York, that would make the Yankees a lot more desperate to add outfield help, meaning they would become an even bigger suitor for Reynolds.
Judge’s spectacular play last season for the Yankees overshadowed how bad everyone else that played outfield was for them. Aaron Hicks struggled all season long, Joey Gallo was so bad that he got himself run out of town, Andrew Benintendi dealt with a wrist injury, and Harrison Bader, while solid in the postseason, did nothing in the regular season despite being picked up at the trade deadline.
There’s hope that Bader can be a solid everyday outfielder next season, and that Hicks could have a bounce back campaign, but that seems like a risk that isn’t worth taking, even if Judge returns. Bryan Reynolds has been consistently great in recent seasons, and if New York is serious about making a World Series run, they could prove that by going out and swinging a deal with the Pirates.
1. New York Mets
The New York Mets have a lot of work to do after they lost Jacob deGrom in free agency to the Texas Rangers. And while trading for an outfielder in Reynolds wouldn’t help their rotation, it would help them upgrade their outfield amid another potential departure from a key player in free agency.
Brandon Nimmo is one of the top free agent outfielders behind Judge this offseason, and there’s a pretty decent chance that he won’t be returning this offseason. If Nimmo departs, Reynolds would be the perfect replacement since he’s a switch hitter (Nimmo is a lefty) who primarily plays in center field. Plus, there are a lot of categories in which Reynolds is an upgrade over Nimmo.
The Mets don’t have a ton of money available to make a run at big name free agents, but they do have some trade assets that would be particularly enticing for the Pirates here. Pittsburgh doesn’t seem too inclined to move Bryan Reynolds right now, but that could change if New York offers them a big trade package, and if Nimmo does end up leaving, they may end up having to pull off this deal.