The Braves are approaching this offseason with everything on the table. Dansby Swanson remains at the forefront of the discussions, but if that doesn’t happen, Atlanta might have to get creative to match the other moves made by their division rivals. They’ve already made one substantial trade, but could a much bigger one be on the horizon for a player they have been linked to several times over the last couple of years?
Will the Braves pull the trigger on a deal for Bryan Reynolds?
Reynolds has been the subject of trade rumors forever now. He’s the only All-Star caliber player on a dreadful Pirates roster that is competing for the worst record in baseball year in and year out. But the Pirates, who have had a knack in the past of getting fleeced in trades, are waiting for a king’s ransom in return before pulling the trigger on any deal. He still has three more seasons of team control remaining, so there’s no rush on their end, making it difficult for interested teams like the Braves.
If Atlanta doesn’t eventually land Reynolds in a trade it won’t be for lack of trying. During the 2021 season, it was reported that the Braves made a “big-time” offer to the Pirates in an attempt to trade for him, but Pittsburgh ultimately decided to hold onto him. Now, this offseason, it’s been reported that Atlanta could make a “strong, under-the-radar push for Reynolds this winter.”
Reynolds, who requested a trade just a couple of days before the Winter Meetings began, may not have a lot of control over his situation, given he still is under contract for three more seasons. But it seems there is very little chance he is extended, and the longer the Pirates hold onto him, the less they will get for his services in return.
I’ve been skeptical of the Braves acquiring Reynolds for a number of reasons, but the pieces seem to be coming together for a potential trade. Reynolds wants out, and following the trade of Justyn-Henry Malloy, Alex Anthopoulos desperately needs to find a long-term solution in left field. While the Braves don’t have a strong farm system, they have the parts to come up with an enticing offer. They will probably have to include a major-league piece like William Contreras or Vaughn Grissom, but that might be worth it for three years of Reynolds. And knowing Alex Anthopoulos, he would be eager to extend him, solidifying the Braves outfield for the remainder of the decade. Of all the potential blockbuster trades the Braves could potentially be involved in, a move for Bryan Reynolds makes the most sense.
Photo: Bob Kupbens/Icon Sportswire