Braves: Could the Pirates be a landing spot for William Contreras?

MLB Pipeline

Following the signing of Manny Pina earlier this offseason, the Braves now have two veteran catchers under contract through the 2023 season. They also have two top catching prospects that are close to being big-league ready. We’ve already seen some of William Contreras in the majors, and former first-round pick Shea Langeliers isn’t too far behind him. That’s quite the logjam at the top of the Braves organization as far as backstops go, which has caused many to speculate if Contreras could be on the move.

It’s not a foregone conclusion, but as far as trade chips go, Contreras is at the top of the Braves list. He still carries a lot of value because of his offense at a position that is typically offensively deficient, and Atlanta can afford to part ways with him without feeling the effects, thanks to their depth at the position. Plenty of rebuilding teams should be interested, and there’s one in particular that makes sense for both sides — the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The Pirates just traded their starting catcher, Jacob Stallings, to the Marlins on Monday. This leaves them without a catcher on their roster, and they don’t have a prospect on the cusp of the majors either.

This makes Contreras a perfect fit for the Pirates, but what could the Braves get in return.

The obvious answer is Bryan Reynolds, and he’s likely the only player on Pittsburgh’s roster Atlanta would be interested in. It was reported after last year’s trade deadline that the Braves were attempting to trade for Reynolds during the season but balked at the Pirates’ high asking price and pivoted elsewhere.

I imagine those conversations have continued into the offseason. The Braves have a glaring need in the outfield, but the asking price will still be astronomically high. Reynolds has four years of team control remaining and is coming off an All-Star season in which he hit .302 with 24 homers — good for a .912 OPS. Contreras alone won’t be nearly enough to get a deal done, but he can get the conversations started. Pache or Waters would likely have to be included, plus more, but for Reynolds, it very well could be worth it while this team is smack dab in the middle of their championship window.

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