The Bryan Reynolds rumors aren’t difficult to piece together if you take the prevailing wisdom at face value. At this moment in time, and at this current level of Pittsburgh Pirates desperation, the Yankees are going to have a difficult time satisfying their demand for upper-level pitching prospects.
The Seattle Mariners? They’ll have no such difficulty.
Therefore, MLB insider Jon Morosi, fresh off driving the bus in the Aaron Judge rumor cycle and helping to leak the video of him landing in San Francisco, appears to be on the right path while captaining the latest batch of Reynolds rumors, too.
According to Morosi on Thursday, the Yankees are a top-three “strongest” candidate to acquire the one-time All-Star for their left field vacancy, alongside the M’s and Los Angeles Dodgers.
Unfortunately, the Mariners appear to be the favorite in the clubhouse. But, again, you knew that already. Dangle a pitcher — or, better yet, two! — and your package is instantly more appealing than the Yankees’ pitch.
Yankees losing steam to Mariners in Bryan Reynolds rumors
Whether you think Reynolds is a 6-WAR player or closer to the 3-WAR version from last season, he’s an instant upgrade over Aaron Hicks for the Yankees. He’s also the Pirates’ last hope at selling high; Oneil Cruz and Ke’Bryan Hayes aren’t going anywhere.
Pittsburgh’s GM Ben Cherington won’t settle for anything less than the very best, with three years of team control still attached to Reynolds.
The Mariners can satisfy his team’s rumored demands via multiple avenues. Collegiate righty Emerson Hancock is Seattle’s No. 2 prospect. Bryce Miller and Walter Ford rank as Nos. 5 and 6, per MLB Pipeline. Hancock does fall outside the new-look Top 100 (though he lives at the fringes), but the Ms could trump everyone by offering big-leaguers George Kirby and Matt Brash to liven things up.
The Dodgers seem reticent to deal higher-ranking prospect Bobby Miller, while the Blue Jays cashed in their best trade chip for Daulton Varsho and are probably set for 2023 (and will hold Ricky Tiedemann). That gives the Mariners the best available pitching prospect, as well the most motivation to contend (outside of the Yankees, a team without ammunition).
Perhaps Brian Cashman would be at the front of the line if he still had Hayden Wesneski and Ken Waldichuk in his coffer. At this moment in time, the Mariners are better positioned to pay Pittsburgh’s price, and the Yankees’ best hope is that nobody goes all-in until the deadline, forcing the Bucs to reevaluate and accept less.