You're Thinking About This Bryan Reynolds Contract All Wrong

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Just before the season started, there were reports that the details of a Bryan Reynolds contract extension with the Pittsburgh Pirates were agreed upon, but a "conceptual issue" was holding up to process.  It later came out the full value and length of the contract was estimated to be around $107 million for eight years.  The 'conceptual issue' was that Reynolds and his camp wanted an opt-out in Year 4 of the contract.

This is where most fans, at least per my scrolling on Twitter, are thinking about the terms of this contract completely incorrectly.  Of course the immediate reaction is that since Bob Nutting is evil, Reynolds must be in the right and the front office of the Pirates must be in the wrong.  That's just not always true.  And it's frustrating to see so many people jump to that conclusion simply because they can't get passed their hatred for Nutting.

However, Reynolds is under team control for three more seasons, including this one.  He is under control until after the 2025 season.  Read that again.  Because I don't think the majority of people are getting that.  If the Pirates so choose, Reynolds has to play for the Pirates in 2023.  He also has to play for the Pirates in 2024.  He also has you see where I'm going with this?  

I have never experienced a player being talked about like a pending free agent for the last three seasons like Bryan Reynolds has when he is actually almost three full seasons away from free agency.  It's absurd.  The talk all offseason was who Reynolds would be playing for this season.  The Pirates.  He's playing for the Pirates.  Even people who write about the Pirates, and claim to have 'sources', were sure he would be traded.

And all this venting from me just to point to the fact that the Pirates do not have to extend Reynolds.  An extension is not imminently necessary.  It'd be nice, but it's not imperative.  Again, he is under team control for almost three full seasons.  

So, actually, the Pirates are right to decline an opt-out after just four years of this new contract.  Essentially the Pirates would be paying him more for the next three seasons, that he was already under control, just to gain one additional year of control?  That's dumb.  An opt-out in Year 6 is more fair, and maybe even an opt-out in Year 5, but in Year 4?  No.  The Pirates are right to decline that.

Also, I think people are largely misinterpreting the reason Reynolds wants the opt-out.  Most fans are saying, "well, he probably wants to make sure the Pirates are good after four years, and if they are, he will stay."  Not really.  That's not why the opt-outs exist.

The opt-outs exist because player contracts continue to rise.  And Reynolds knows he could potentially be worth much more in four years.  He doesn't want to be stuck in a contract that has his value set for the next eight years with no way of changing that.  It really has nothing to do with how good the Pirates are, and no, he won't just stay for the remaining four years of an 8-year contract if the Pirates are good in 2026.  That's not how all of this works.  

So the Pirates are correct to decline an opt-out that could potentially buy the team just one additional year of control of Bryan Reynolds.  Just because you think Bob Nutting sucks, does not mean the front office is always in the wrong.  Reynolds is still represented by agents and lawyers and I bet if you met those guys, you wouldn't like them very much either.  It's all a business, and you have to balance your hatred for the owner versus your passion for the team sometimes.  Be rational.