Pirates asking price for Bryan Reynolds trade favors Braves

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The Braves have had a relatively quiet offseason outside of the blockbuster deal that sent Sean Murphy to Atlanta from Oakland. Most news regarding the organization surrounds Dansby Swanson signing with the Cubs. The roster is nearly complete, but there are still areas of concern. Shortstop will undoubtedly be a position to watch as Vaughn Grissom and Orlando Arcia compete for the starting role. Still, I’d argue left field could be a more significant issue moving forward.

Plenty of options are left on the open market with a range of price tags. The Braves could spend a nice chunk on a one-year deal for someone like Michael Conforto, or they could acquire an All-Star in Bryan Reynolds, whose price tag favors Atlanta’s assets. According to Jon Morosi, the Pirates prefer starting pitchers over position players to headline any potential trade.

Bryan Reynolds has been the subject of trade rumors for what seems like forever and officially requested a trade just a couple of days before the Winter Meetings began. He still has three more seasons of team control, so it will take a king’s ransom to pry him out of Pittsburgh, and there’s no rush on the Pirates’ end.

The Braves have long been connected to Reynolds multiple times. During the 2021 season, it was reported that the Braves made a “big-time” offer, but Pittsburgh ultimately decided to hold onto him. Earlier in the offseason, it was reported that Atlanta could make a “strong, under-the-radar push for Reynolds this winter.” 

He turns 28 next month and is one of the most productive outfielders in the game. His breakout campaign came in 2021, where he slashed .302/.390/.522 with 24 home runs and started the All-Star Game. And all he did was mash 27 home runs in a “down year” for his standards last season. He’s not only productive, but Reynolds is also incredibly durable, making him that much more expensive to acquire.

The Pirates have reportedly been holding out for a “Juan Soto–type” haul on Reynolds, and it seems their preference is pitchers, which the Braves have. Between the farm and major league rosters, the Braves have a handful of pitchers they could move for Reynolds.

Jared Shuster is the Braves’ top prospect, according to MLB.com. And the organization’s next two highest-rated prospects are both pitchers — Owen Murphy and JR Ritchie. Then, there are the major league guys. Mike Soroka’s value is a mystery, but there could be some inkling of interest in an All-Star caliber pitcher. Bryce Elder has proven a capable starter in the big leagues, posting a 3.17 ERA and 1.0 WAR with the Braves last year. Hell, Ian Anderson’s value has never been lower, but he’s been nearly unhittable in the postseason and would fetch a decent return in a deal. 

It would make an already thin farm system even lighter, but the prospect of landing someone of Bryan Reynolds’ quality warrants the move for a club with World Series aspirations.

Photographer: Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire

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