Latest Bryan Reynolds update means Yankees have to move on

Pittsburgh Pirates v New York Yankees
Pittsburgh Pirates v New York Yankees / Jamie Squire/GettyImages

The New York Yankees seem to be holding out for a hero in left field, choosing the "Bryan Reynolds or Bust" approach to the offseason.

And credit to Brian Cashman. It must hurt him to be leaving the Yankees mob on Twitter so high and dry, but ... at this moment ... he's opted for Aaron Hicks and Oswaldo Cabrera over a Max Kepler trade (no thanks), a Daulton Varsho deal (that'd cost Anthony Volpe), and a Michael Brantley signing (Steve Cohen Tax says hello).

It's an unsatisfying answer, and perhaps a third-party candidate ultimately emerges before the season (Rafael Ortega) or at the deadline (Ian Happ?). For now, though, it seems the grand prize in Reynolds may be staying put for a while, perhaps until next season.

Pirates GM Ben Cherington might be blustering, or he might be deadly serious, but he doesn't seem to be ready to bend to Reynolds' trade request, which didn't wrest control from the Pirates' court whatsoever (he's still in the arbitration cycle through 2025). Cherington insisted this week that Reynolds will be a "big part of the team." Combine that with projection systems that are oddly bullish on the Pirates' .500 chances, and maybe Reynolds really might be sticking around.

Yankees can't get Bryan Reynolds from a stone if Pirates GM insists he's part of future

Reynolds is an enigma, at this point, alternating 6-WAR and 3-WAR seasons the last two years. However, peak Reynolds was by far the best player available on this offseason's trade market, and he's the odds-on favorite to be the best player available at the trade deadline, too.

Add in the fact that the computers seem to believe in Pittsburgh's strange mix of veteran leadership (Carlos Santana, Ji-Man Choi) and young star leaps (Roansy Contreras, Oneil Cruz), and it's possible that the Bucs can trip into MLB's new platonic ideal of "being close enough to the Wild Card to sell a few more hats."

In that case, yes, Reynolds will survive in Pittsburgh until the offseason.

The Yankees' plan centering around the Pirates eventually getting fed up and selling Reynolds at a discount isn't a wise one, unless Cabrera proves himself to be a capable left fielder in a larger sample size.

For now, though, it's time to disassociate the two parties. Reynolds won't be a 2023 Yankee. The talks have slowed from a frustrating simmer to a cold bowl.