The New York Yankees have been the team most powerfully connected to outfielder Bryan Reynolds, which makes a fan wonder if the Pittsburgh Pirates feel like getting fleeced for the third time in two years after dealing Jameson Taillon and DFA’ing both pieces of the return for Clay Holmes.
Reynolds reportedly demanded a trade this offseason, decreasing his leverage (but only in theory). In practice, MLB stars can’t pull the same lever as NBA players as they wait out their own arbitration process. Hell, it doesn’t always work out in the NBA, either, considering Kevin Durant still plays his home games on the YES Network.
Per reports, the Pirates’ asking price for Reynolds has been sky high, though according to Jon Morosi, that hasn’t stopped the Yankees from contacting their front office in recent weeks.
A Reynolds trade would seem to qualify as “bigger than Rodón” (shoutout to Michael Kay), but per Morosi’s reporting, the main snag is the Pirates’ focus on starting pitchers to headline the trade package.
If that’s the case … Ken Waldichuk, Hayden Wesneski, and Luis Medina would’ve been nice to have. Sadly, all three were dealt for Frankie Montas and Scott Effross. Without a third team’s involvement or a painful roster move (Nestor Cortes?!), the Yankees are going to have to hope Pittsburgh has interest in Luis Gil, Will Warren, Drew Thorpe, or Clarke Schmidt.
Yankees-Pirates Bryan Reynolds trade package: third team necessary?
Based on Morosi’s report, there are a few different avenues that could work here for the Yankees, though none of them are as ideal as just … dropping a top pitching prospect like Eury Pérez or Daniel Espino and calling it a day.
There’s a version of this trade where the Yankees try to load their package with upper-level prospects Jasson Dominguez and Oswald Peraza, hoping that helps the Pirates get over the lack of pitching (as they slip in Clarke Schmidt and Randy Vásquez).
There’s a version where it’s either Dominguez or Peraza and three pitchers (whoever the Pirates prefer out of Schmidt, Vásquez, Thorpe, Warren, Gil and Clayton Beeter). As terrifying as it is to imagine, Cortes is controllable through 2025, and would be a “higher-level” pitching add than anyone else mentioned, but … the Pirates aren’t looking to compete much over the next three years. That’s why they’re dealing Reynolds, who’s on the same timeline. The Yankees might consider it, but the Pirates wouldn’t.
New York’s final hope probably involves calling up a third team. The Miami Marlins reportedly chased Gleyber Torres last summer; could his inclusion be enough to convince them to ship their No. 2 prospect Max Meyer (No. 43 overall on MLB Pipeline’s Top 100) to Pittsburgh to help facilitate this deal? Maybe something like Meyer, Peraza and Thorpe to Pittsburgh, Reynolds to the Yankees, Torres and Gil to Miami?
It remains intriguing that the Yankees seem to be the only team repeatedly connected to Reynolds. That said, the hurdles the Bombers must overcome to finalize an acquisition are best knocked over by calling up the Marlins for a late assist.