All-Star outfielder Bryan Reynolds and the Pittsburgh Pirates have agreed to a two-year contract to avoid arbitration, as first reported by ESPN’s Jeff Passan on Thursday morning.
The contract secures him through the 2023 season, but because he is Super 2 eligible, he won’t reach free agency until after the 2025 season.
The deal in total is worth $13.5 million — quite a bargain considering the kind of player the 27-year-old is developing into.
Reynolds is one of the lone bright spots on a Pirates team that has been stuck in the doldrums of the NL Central for years. Last year — which was just his third season in the big leagues — he slashed .303/.390/.522 (.912 OPS) with 24 home runs, a league-leading eight triples, and 90 RBI while finishing just outside the top-10 in National League MVP voting.
Through five games this season, Reynolds is 5-for-22 with one home run and one RBI.
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It obviously remains to be seen if the Pirates did this deal to help raise the outfielder’s trade value. Throughout the offseason, his name was constantly dotting the rumor mill as a big name that could be dealt to a new club.
After all, selling productive players for a package of prospects is a common tactic of organizations who act like small-market clubs.
But the Pirates could be turning a new leaf in 2022. They just doled out the richest contract in franchise history on third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes, inking him to a seven-year, $80 million extension that will keep him in Pittsburgh through the 2029 season.