Rockies, Yankees, Braves Interested In Bryan Reynolds

Bryan Reynolds’ trade request has sparked a new round of speculation that the Pirates might look to deal the outfielder, and any number of teams could be fits to make bids for the All-Star.  The Rockies are a new team with interest in Reynolds, according to The Denver Post’s Patrick Saunders, while Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette hears that that from a source that the Yankees are still “very much” part of the mix after initially trying to land Reynolds both last winter and at the trade deadline.  The Braves are another team who has previously been linked to Reynolds on the rumor mill, and could re-emerge with “a strong, under-the-radar push for Reynolds this winter,” a source tells The Athletic’s Rob Biertempfel.

The fit is apparent on any of these clubs, as a switch-hitting All-Star who is controlled through the 2025 season is naturally a good fit on almost any roster.  Reynolds could slide right into Atlanta’s left field position, teaming with Michael Harris and Ronald Acuna Jr. as one of baseball’s best starting outfields, and allowing the Braves to move Marcell Ozuna and Eddie Rosario into part-time or DH duty (or possibly into trade bait, if any deals can be found).  Reynolds can likely move right into regular left field work for the Yankees, also moonlighting in center field to spell Harrison Bader once in a while, and Reynolds’ switch-hitting bat will help balance out a New York lineup that is heavy on right-handed hitters.

Colorado is the most likely of this trio to primarily keep Reynolds in center field, though Kris Bryant’s versatility allows the Rockies with some flexibility in figuring out their lineup.  The Rockies’ first goal will be to just get Bryant back onto the field after an injury-plagued 2022, but assuming that Bryant returns in good form, he can bounce around to either corner infield or outfield position, and even play the occasional game in center field.  Bryant played only left field and DH last year, and the Rox might opt to have Bryant and Reynolds in the corner outfield spots flanking Yonathan Daza and Randal Grichuk in center field.  Lineup balance would also be a factor for a mostly right-handed Colorado batting order.

Of course, it remains to be seen if the Pirates will trade Reynolds anywhere.  In response to Reynolds, the Bucs flatly stated that the trade request “will have zero impact on our decision-making this off-season or in the future.”  Pittsburgh’s asking price in any Reynolds trade has been said to be extremely high, as the Pirates seem to regard Reynolds as a building block rather than the latest player to be dealt away as part of their lengthy rebuild.  The two sides were even engaged in extension talks, though the lack of progress in these talks seems to have been a major reason why Reynolds asked to be dealt.

Back in August, Baseball America’s midseason organizational talent rankings put the Rockies (in 10th place) well ahead of both the Yankees (17th) and Braves (28th) in terms of farm system strength.  In theory, Colorado might have some advantage in a bidding war depending on the types of young talent the Pirates would want in return for Reynolds, though BA’s rankings do reflect players that still qualify as minor leaguers.  Not that Atlanta would move Harris or Spencer Strider for Reynolds anyway, but the Braves’ lower ranking reflects how those two young stars had graduated to the big leagues, thus removing two very prominent prospects from BA’s evaluation.  If the Pirates are hopeful of becoming competitive perhaps even as early as 2024, they could be more apt to ask for MLB-ready young players, which would help the Braves and Yankees in the Reynolds talks.

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