Pirates Fans - Stop Trying to Trade Bryan Reynolds

Associated Press

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How backward have we become?  I’m seeing legitimate tweets and social media posts from fans outlining what they would want in return for Bryan Reynolds…this offseason!  I’ve seen, “we need the top four Marlins prospects” or “we need at least their top 2 pitching prospects”. 

Stop.  Stop it right now.  I wouldn’t take the top five prospects in all of Major League Baseball for Bryan Reynolds.  And I’m not overvaluing Reynolds.  I’m also not just assuming he will continue to be a starter in the All-Star game every season for the rest of his life.  Bryan Reynolds is not Barry Bonds, obviously.

However, what are we even talking about here?  We have this 27-year-old All-Star outfielder with four years of control.  Four years.  That means we will have our star center fielder in place for the 2022 season, and the 2023 season, and the 2024 season, and the 2025 season.  Four years. 

Do you know how hard that is to come by?  To have proven major league star talent, with that much control, at that value.  It’s rare. 

And often I feel like I don’t have to spell it out for people.  I actually think those who do when talking sports come off rather arrogant.  But based on what I am seeing among the Pirate faithful, apparently I do. 

You do not trade proven major league star talent, with four years of control left, for any amount of unproven prospect talent.  I want to know what prospects you’re taking and what they’re lacing them with because you all have become addicted to prospects.  Did you all have a major surgery where your doctors prescribed you prospects for pain, and you haven’t quite been able to wean yourselves off them since?  What is happening here.  You're addicted to top prospects.

Jared Carrabis, previously from Barstool Sports and now with DraftKings, tweeted this morning that all of the players the Marlins received in return for Christian Yelich are gone now and all but one of the players they received for Giancarlo Stanton are also gone.  You cannot just continue to trade proven major league talent for unproven prospect talent.

Also, don’t come at me with the typical, “well we just trade our guys anyway when they get good.”  It’s crap.  It is.  Sure, when a veteran is playing on an expiring contract, it is worth it to move him.  That’s okay.  It happened with Cutch, it happened with Neil Walker, it happened with Gerrit Cole, and it will happen again. 

However, it does not happen when a proven star outfielder is on his rookie contract, and will be receiving arbitration level salaries – FOR FOUR MORE YEARS.  There is no reason to believe the Pirates cannot be around .500 next season.  They also better be competing for a playoff spot in 2024 and 2025 or else the current plan has most certainly failed. 

You have to pick a handful of guys to build around, while your youngsters are growing up.  Bryan Reynolds is one of those guys.  He will be the No. 3 hitter when Ke’Bryan Hayes, Oneil Cruz, Nick Gonzalez, Mason Martin, Liover Peguero, and Henry Davis are also gracing the batting order, among others.  He’ll be playing alongside Hudson Head and Travis Swaggerty (although Swaggerty has been alarmingly absent this Spring) in the outfield.  He will be the No. 3 hitter when Roansy Contreras, Quinn Priester, and Tahnaj Thomas are gracing the rotation, among others. 

Reynolds, and Ke’Bryan Hayes, are the types of players you build around like an Andrew McCutchen, Starling Marte, and Neil Walker, like the Pirates did for the run in '13, '14, and '15.  And even as we sit today, Hayes is largely unproven, just like the dozens of prospects that you can find on a website somewhere talking about how great they might be.

If you believe the Pirates should trade Bryan Reynolds for anything short of major league talent that will help us win in ’23, ’24, or ’25, you think the Pirates will be bad for another four years.  That’s fine if you do.  I don’t. 

You have all become addicted to prospects.  You cannot trade star talent with years of control for any amount of unproven talent.  Don’t even entertain it.  There is not a minor league pipeline in the world that can match what we have in Bryan Reynolds right now, because of the combination of his talent and the four seasons of control.  I hope they sign Reynolds long-term just to shut up all of these trade rumors for good.  It’s asinine.