Pirates, Bryan Reynolds Agree To Extension

The Pirates and outfielder Bryan Reynolds have reached an settlement on an eight-year, $106.75MM contract extension, studies Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Submit-Gazette (Twitter links). The contract will overwrite his present deal and run by the 2030 season, with a membership choice for the 2031 marketing campaign. Reynolds, a CAA consumer, does not have an opt-out provision however does have some extent of no-trade safety, per Mackey. Mark Feinsand of MLB.com tweets that Reynolds will be capable to block trades to 6 groups. The $106.75MM assure is the most important in Pirates franchise historical past.

Robert Murray of FanSided reports that Reynolds’ $6.75MM wage for the present season will stay unchanged, however he’ll now obtain a $2MM signing bonus as properly. Reynolds will then earn salaries of $10MM in 2024, $12MM in 2025, $14MM in 2026 and $15MM per 12 months from 2027-30. The choice is valued at $20MM and incorporates a $2MM buyout. In all, Reynolds is assured seven years and $100MM on high of the $6.75MM he’d already been incomes in 2023. The contract buys out his remaining two seasons of arbitration and locks in 5 free-agent seasons with an choice for a sixth.

One in every of two gamers the Pirates acquired within the commerce sending the since re-signed Andrew McCutchen to the Giants, Reynolds hit the bottom operating with the Bucs in his MLB debut again in 2017, batting .314/.377/.503 with 16 dwelling runs in 546 plate appearances. Except for a dreadful displaying in a 55-game pattern in the course of the shortened 2020 season, Reynolds has continued to hit at a properly above-average degree. He’s a profession .282/.359/.484 hitter in simply over 2100 plate appearances, together with a .294/.319/.553 begin in 2023. By measure of wRC+, he’s been 26% higher than a league-average hitter in his profession thus far.

Transferring ahead, it appears the Bucs will trot Reynolds out as their major left fielder, moderately than his customary middle area. That’s been the case for almost all of the 2023 season, when Reynolds has logged simply 35 innings in middle in comparison with 144 innings in left area. Defensive metrics have more and more soured on Reynolds’ middle area work in recent times, and the Pirates have been enjoying Jack Suwinski and Ji Hwan Bae there extra ceaselessly in 2023. The early returns on Reynolds’ glovework have been sharp; he’s posted constructive scores in Defensive Runs Saved (3), Final Zone Score (0.5) and Outs Above Common (1) throughout his restricted work.

The extension for Reynolds marks the fruits of a number of years of commerce rumors and a months-long sequence of extension drama that at one level led the outfielder to request a commerce. That commerce request was not a steadfast declaration that he needed out of Pittsburgh — clearly — however moderately was borne of the truth that Reynolds was in search of a long-term deal that Pirates possession then appeared merely unwilling to place forth. Mackey reported in February that the Pirates had made a six-year, $76MM supply to Reynolds previous to that commerce request; his camp then sought $50-60MM extra.

An settlement on these identical monetary phrases was reportedly reached again in spring coaching, however there have been different hold-ups within the deal. At that time, Reynolds had been pushing for an opt-out clause to be included within the contract. It’s a bit shocking that he’d drop that request with out the Pirates developing on their supply, although the inclusion of some restricted no-trade safety maybe supplied some additional incentive for Reynolds. Moreover, the staff’s gorgeous 16-7 begin to the season seemingly solely serves to additional Reynolds’ perception that the membership is headed in the proper path.

All that stated, it’s arduous to not like this deal for the Pirates. Reynolds’ prior two-year, $13.5MM deal that purchased out his first two arbitration seasons successfully signaled that the Bucs seen his 2022 and 2023 seasons someplace within the neighborhood of $4.5MM and $9MM, respectively. As a Tremendous Two participant, he’d have gone by arbitration twice extra, incomes a pair of raises within the course of. It’s by no means unreasonable to assume that Reynolds may’ve topped $13MM in 2024 and $17MM in 2025. His remaining two arb seasons alone had been price near $30MM (seemingly a bit extra), that means the 5 free-agent years on this contract are being valued at roughly $14MM apiece.

Andrew Benintendi simply inked a five-year, $75MM deal in free company, and whereas he was two years youthful than Reynolds could be by the point he’d have reached the market, Reynolds is a decidedly higher hitter. The seven years and $100MM in new cash secured by Reynolds on this deal is an actual match for the assured portion of Byron Buxton’s cope with the Twins, however Reynolds doesn’t include any of the sturdiness considerations which have plagued Buxton all through his profession — nor does his contract include the roughly $8MM of annual incentives in that Buxton deal. Even Corbin Carroll, who’s repped by the identical company as Reynolds and entered the season with simply 32 MLB video games underneath his belt, landed an eight-year, $111MM extension from the D-backs throughout spring coaching.

Each participant’s motivation is sort of completely different, after all, and Reynolds has made clear prior to now that his eventual hope was to land a long-term deal that allowed him to stay in Pittsburgh for the long run. He’s performed simply that, securing a nine-figure assure within the course of. The extension doesn’t essentially stack up with what gamers of his caliber would possibly anticipate to earn at this juncture of their careers, however Reynolds was clearly prepared to compromise with the intention to stay with the teammates, teaching workers and metropolis he’s come to view as dwelling.

Market context however, Reynolds now firmly joins Ke’Bryan Hayes as a foundational piece for the Pirates. The 2 are the one gamers signed to a assured deal past the present season, and each are underneath staff management by not less than 2030. Hayes’ $70MM extension runs by the 2029 season, and Pittsburgh holds a staff choice for that 2030 season — the ultimate assured 12 months of Reynolds’ new deal.

Reynolds and Hayes will account for $17MM in assured wage subsequent 12 months and for $23MM as far out because the 2029 season. Even for a perennial payroll cellar-dweller just like the Pirates, that ought to depart them with ample room to complement the roster — significantly in the event that they’re capable of persuade a few of their up-and-coming younger expertise to conform to club-friendly offers in the identical vein as the present pair of extensions they’ve brokered. Skills equivalent to Oneil Cruz and Roansy Contreras are nonetheless fairly early of their respective MLB careers, and whereas each Mitch Keller (three-plus years of MLB service) and David Bednar (two-plus) are additional alongside, each are potential candidates as properly. Prospects like Endy Rodriguez, Henry Davis, Quinn Priester and Luis Ortiz may all enter the dialog as they get their toes moist within the Majors as properly.

For now, Pirates followers have clear trigger to have a good time. The staff has sprinted out to a shocking first-place begin, and after years of watching the staff’s finest gamers inevitably head elsewhere by way of commerce, they’ll now really feel safe that Reynolds shall be in black and gold for the foreseeable future.