The Pirates are making a renewed effort to work out a long-term deal with Bryan Reynolds, reports Jon Heyman of the New York Post (Twitter link). According to Heyman, the club would prefer to have an agreement in place by Opening Day, though it’s unclear how likely that is.
Reynolds addressed the situation briefly this afternoon, saying there wasn’t any major development on the extension front (via Justice delos Santos of MLB.com). The two-time All-Star indicated he shares a desire to not have talks linger into the regular season.
Whether the Pirates would extend or trade Reynolds has been a question for quite some time. He’s come up in offseason and deadline trade rumors for over a year. Pittsburgh has held firm on a huge ask in discussions with other teams but hasn’t seemed to make much progress about keeping him past their allotted window of arbitration control, which runs through 2025. There appeared to be a tipping point in early December. Extension discussions stalled and Reynolds requested a trade around the Winter Meetings.
Pittsburgh brass reiterated they weren’t planning to lower their trade price in response to Reynolds’ wish to move. They ended up him holding him throughout the offseason — without any public indication they came particularly close to a deal — and the switch-hitting outfielder walked things back as camp approached. In mid-February, he told reporters he was still open to extension talks, saying he’d “been pretty open the past few years that (his) No. 1 choice would be to sign an extension in Pittsburgh.”
While it doesn’t seem there’s been any substantive movement, Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports the sides’ relationship has generally improved over the past couple months. Mackey suggests there’s at least some optimism among those involved that a deal could come together, though it’ll obviously depend on the extent to which the parties budge on financials.
Previous reports have suggested the Pirates offered a six-year deal that’d guarantee somewhere in the $75-80MM range. Meanwhile, Mackey writes that Reynolds’ camp had sought an eight-year deal worth $134MM. That leaves a gap in the $50-60MM vicinity to bridge. A six-year deal would run through Reynolds’ age-33 season, assuming it overwrote the $6.75MM salary he’s presently set to receive. An eight-year pact would take him through age 35.