Pirates Prospects Daily: Bryan Reynolds Negotiations Could Be Reaching the Finish Line

In one of the few events that could potentially overshadow Opening Day in the minor leagues, more contract talk came out when it comes to the ongoing negotiations between the Pittsburgh Pirates and Bryan Reynolds.

The two sides seem as close as they ever can or will be, but at the same time it’s the last hurdle that may keep this deal from getting done altogether.

It seems the years and dollar amount have been settled on, but Reynold’s side wants to be able to opt out of the contract, reportedly after four years. The Pirates obviously don’t want that, and that’s where the standstill is coming from.

What it comes down to, is if the Reynolds camp stands firm on the opt out, there is a could chance this doesn’t get done. If there is some sort of compromise, the framework is already there, it just needs that final push.

The Pirates certainly open themselves for criticism for a lot of the way they do things. If this doesn’t get worked out, it will be another case of them not signing one of their top players, but this time around was different.

They took this one all the way to the finish line. Ultimately, they can decide to go ahead and go forward with it, and allow Reynolds to opt out after four years. That would buy an extra year of control, which would be potentially during a window of competitiveness by the team.

Either way, it seems like there’s been progress.

Quick Start, Fizzle Late In Indianapolis

Friday night was Opening Day in the minor leagues, with the Indianapolis Indians getting things kicked off. It really couldn’t have started better, as they put up five runs in the bottom of the first inning, fueled by a two-run home run by Endy Rodriguez.

The excitement would end after that, as they would go on to lose by the score 8-6 after Omaha scored seven runs over the last three innings. 

Luis Ortiz got the Opening Day start, and while he got some whiffs with the slider, he was mostly inconsistent with his control — only lasting 3.2 innings and walking three. He did mix in 11 changeups, almost 20% of his total pitches, which is a big step in the right direction for him.

— Speaking of control issues, Colin Selby really struggled to find the zone. Of the nine fastballs he threw on the night, the only two that weren’t balls were the ones that were put into play. Not the best start, but also why they play over 100 games in a regular season.

— With three batted ball events of over 100 mph, Nick Gonzales finished with an average EV of 98.12 on the night, picking up two hits total. He also whiffed at the only two breaking pitches he swung at. 

Pirates Prospects Daily

By John Dreker

The Pirates play at 4:10 PM today. The lineup will be added to the bottom of the article once it becomes available.

Prospect Watch: Endy Rodriguez Homers, As Indianapolis Drops Their Season Opener The first of 150 or so Prospect Watch articles this year

**The Latest on the Bryan Reynolds Extension Negotiations

**Minor Moves: Robert Stephenson Starts Rehab; Jared Triolo to Injured List The Pirates made plenty of minor league moves yesterday

**Indianapolis Indians 2023 Opening Day Roster Indianapolis started their season yesterday by announcing their roster.

**Pirates Prospects Daily: Previewing This Week’s Minor League Games

**Travis Swaggerty Embraces Daily Playing Time in Indianapolis Ryan Palencer caught up with Travis Swaggerty

**Pirates DVR: Austin Hedges Defense, Oneil Cruz Home Run, Michael Kennedy Pitching

Song of the Day

Today’s Lineup

Reds lineup

Anthony began writing over 10 years ago, starting a personal blog to cover the 2011 MLB draft, where the Pirates selected first overall. After bouncing around many websites covering hockey, he refocused his attention to baseball, his first love when it comes to sports. He eventually found himself here at Pirates Prospects in late 2021, where he covers the team’s four full season minor league affiliates.

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My thoughts on game:

1. Dick Mountain deserved better result. His ability to change speeds and arm angles will serve Pirates well this season.
2. Middle relief is going to be a problem again this year.
3. DS, please stop playing MI’s in the OF. Bae doesn’t belong in CF anymore than I do. If only we had a 25 year-old former #1 pick who plays a strong CF in AAA.
4. Cruz is going to be an AS SS this year or next.
5. Cutch is going to have at least a 2 WAR season this year.
6. Castro must improve his pitch recognition skills. Pirates had Lodolo on the ropes in 1st and Castro bailed him out by swinging at pitches well out of the strike zone.
7. Great American Ballpark deserves its reputation.


3) No, he needs to stay in AAA for mysterious development reasons that only the most learned can understand.


If they find two average relievers to replace Crowe and De Jong it would turn this bullpen into an average bullpen. Maybe Bido and De lo Santos? Eventually Mlod?


Here come the dregs of the bullpen…


They’re taking Hill out? WTF? He’s got another 10 innings in him. He’s in a rocking chair out there.


Cruz first K comes on his 7th plate appearance. First two ABs vs a lefty starter are hits. Impressed.


Time to see which team has the worse bullpen.


Bae has two strike outs, with only one pitch in the strike zone (and he didn’t swing at that one). Castro has done close to the same thing.


Interesting to see what happens when they knock out Lodolo (already over 80 pitches thru 3). Cruz also looks quite uncomfortable in the box. Wonder how much of it is the cold for the Dominican guys


Cruz says F YOUR EXIT VELOS haha


I’m assuming the wind is blowing out pretty strongly, given what’s happening about 4 hours south of GABP.


Wind is definitely blowing out. And it’s bitterly cold.


“Time to get on that Midnite Train to GA”


If you want to go back in time, just drive from GA to OH in early April and you’ll go from Spring to Winter.


Strong enough for Kevin Newman to go upper decker. Cruz just needs to fly swat one the other way


Is it to early to say ITYS? Didn’t like the Hill signing at all. This is what we will get…..a couple K’s, and a couple of hard hit balls each and every inning. Just like a BP session.

Last edited 2 months ago by 1979andCounting

He wasn’t the reason they lost today. Pirates hitters only had one well struck ball today, Hayes double off the wall. Unless you count Hedges’ liner back to Lodolo, that is.


Agreed, he settled in the next 4 innings. SSS but we of course are going to have to talk about averaging 2 offensive runs per game. There were 3 runs handed to us in game one by 4 consecutive walks and a wild pitch. So we didn’t produce those……..we’re at 2.0 rpg.


Need to hit better w RISP. Today they were 3/7 w RISP and scored 2 runs. Is that even possible? I guess so.


1) Yes, it is.
2) You still may end up being right when all is said and done.
3) An inning or two into start number one!? You looked ol’ small-sample-size dead in the eye and said, “hold my beer” 🙂

Last edited 2 months ago by GrantB

Cruz just ruined his exit velocity average……


Is it too early to say Santana shouldn’t be in the lineup? He really hasn’t hit since 2018 and then spring totally sucked. There is no evidence there is gas left in this can. Switch him with Cruz and I like this lineup. Oneil will have trouble with lefties but he will still knock their mistakes into the cheap seats.


He really shouldn’t be starting much other than vs lefties, not sure why he started over Choi OD. I get the feeling one of those 2 will be DFA material come May/June, and the other will be gone by the deadline to call up Nunez (or Davis???)


Way to put the reverse jinx on him! Nice piece of hitting there. Thnx.


Unlike Cutch, Santana did look like he was having trouble against Greene’s fastball on Thursday. That said, Santana had an OPS of .789 against left handers last year, Cruz OPS against left handers was .532


Last year the left handed Lodolo had much better stats against left handed batters (OPS of .356) than right handed batters (OPS of .778). Last year we had a hard time fielding a line up of mostly right handed hitters. It was mainly Reynolds, Hayes, Newman, Chavis, Delay/Heineman and Castro (when he was with the team). While Reynolds, Hayes, Newman, and Castro hit well against lefties, Chavis and the Catchers did not, and, of course, the rest of the line would be made up of left handed hitters. Hopefully today’s lineup with 7 right handers, and Cruz and Bae from the left side, will be able to get to Lodolo.


I thought today AT&T went bankrupt and the rights to broadcast games went back to the Pirates. Did I miss something?

Last edited 2 months ago by Mblee24

IMO Nick Gonzales is the best hitter in the system

The figure below is an excellent contrast between him and Endy

Nick swings at strikes and misses a bunch

Endy swings at everything

To me it seems more likely that Endy’s approach gets exposed at the MLB


The problem with Nicky G is he can’t hit offspeed stuff, that I feel more than anything will get exposed in the bigs


Endy has a pretty good approach. He swings at everything in AAA because he has like a 1.200 OPS. When you hit that well, you’re incentivized to swing more. He’ll adjust to MLB pitching. I like Gonzales a little more than the consensus, but his swing-and-miss tendencies are a serious problem.


FWIW Both guys had almost identical stats at Greensboro at the same age

Endy’s stats in the DOWL (with roughly the same sample size at AAA) were bad


And both are now listed at 5’9” by Fangraphs and Baseball Reference


Shelton dropping Cruz to 6th. I thought he has done remarkably better vs LHers this Spring. Pitch recognition, and contact has been amazing turn-around from ’22. I just don’t recall what Lodolo throws.


Maybe another example of Shelton overthinking it, or trying to show he’s the smartest guy in the room. Maybe it’s a small advantage early, but chances are later the Reds will be pitching righties and Cruz batting 6th may cost him an AB.


OMG if we don’t win this series……??? Newman is their DH!


Welp 🙁 It’s spring training Newman!


Hill has to be Greg Maddux accurate in hitting his spots, and that’s a tall order even with light hitting bench bats…..smh.


Yeah, the Reds just don’t have a strong lineup from either side of the plate. Newman did have an OPS of .837 last year against left handers, so there’s that.


Funny to me how many people will incessantly drag nutting, cherington, etc for not extending reynolds and now all of a sudden everyone is turning negative, not having an opinion here just an observation


Evidence shifts. The fact that the Pirates bumped up their offer considerably suggests that criticism based on the Pirates’ initial offer was fair. But they’ve moved and while Reynolds has moved too, Reynolds’ team’s offer doesn’t pass the smell test–they want the reward of a 9-figure guarantee without the risk of missing out on even more.


If giving Reynolds an opt out will allow him to take a Team friendly deal, then it may make sense. But not at just one additional year of team control. Has to be at least 2 years to make sense to me.


Here is what I would suggest, if Reynolds’ agent is insistent on the opt-out. I would suggest a 4/45 extension through 2026 with a four-year team option for 4/80 (which would make the total value 8/125, close to Reynolds’ initial ask of 8/134). But if the Pirates decline that team option, Reynolds can trigger a player option for 2/25 (which would make the total value 6/70, in the range of the Pirates’ initial proposal). I think that gives everybody more or less what they want. The team gets the extra years of control; Reynolds either gets the dollars he wanted or gets to opt out and hit FA. Win-win.


I don’t know about the numbers, but the concept sounds good to me.


I’d go year to year with Reynolds.


The Cronenworth extension that was just announced (7/$80MM replacing his last two arb years and buying out 5 FA years) suggests that the deal without an opt-out would be fair–Cronenworth is a year older and they’ve been worth comparable WAR the last two years. I want this to work out, but OTOH when I look at Cronenworth’s deal which I have no emotional attachment to, I’m thinking that it’s a lot of money to commit to a player whose FA years are after his 30th birthday.

Maybe it is best to just take Reynolds year-to-year through arbitration or do a similar deal as last year to cover arb years but not get into FA years.


Cronenworth isn’t getting an opt out and Reynolds is already getting an extra year and more per. Says to me stick firm on no opt out, take it or leave it and go to arb if he doesn’t like it.


You also have to take into account the organizations Reynolds and Cronenworth play for. At this point in time I would trust Padres owner and front office more than the Pirates over a lengthy deal. I can understand why Reynolds is hesitant to commit for 8 years as that might include another whole rebuilding process.

I suggest compromising and give Reynolds an opt-out after 5 seasons.


Right, as I said the reported terms _without_ the opt-out seems fair, given Cronenworth’s deal.


1 strike out in 5 ABs comes to a 50% strikeout rate? I always knew I was lousy at math


I obviously read it wrongly, lol. 20% is good.




I was a math major. I misread the ‘swung an miss’ meaning ABs not pitches. I therefore thought he had four ABs and k’d on two of them.With my eyes it happens a lot. 🙁


Math majors aren’t necessarily good at basic math. It’s the crap with hieroglyphics that y’all excel at.


Lol, all good. But I’m with ya and agree he needs to get the K issue sorted out. Could be a hell of a player if he does figure it out


I’m thinking Dan Uggla.


Would putting the opt out after year 5 necessarily be a bad thing? It would give them 2 extra years of control and pretty much guarantee that you’re getting all of his prime. Pretty much makes the deal 5/$65 MM.


Yes, in my opinion, putting a three-year player option into the deal would be a bad thing. When you say that the deal would basically be 5/65, it seems fairly clear that you are not really understanding what’s being discussed. With an opt-out after year five, 5/65 would be the *best-case* scenario, but the team would also be carrying the risk that Reynolds declines or is injured and opts into the final 3/42 when he’s not worth that. The Pirates are the absolute last team that can afford to have an underwater 3/42 contract on the books. Were you around for the Liriano salary dump? Do you want the team to be in a position where they’re trading multiple prospects just to unload an injured/ineffective Reynolds? There are serious, serious risks with an opt-out.

Of course, an eight-year extension without the opt-out also contains that risk, but at least in that case there’s the upside that Reynolds is still good and is a bargain for those final 3/42. The opt-out would retain all the risk without any of the benefit! That’s why it would be a bad deal.

As I said several times in the last thread, pre-FA extensions do not typically include opt out clauses (they usually include team options, actually), because giving the player control over whether he’s extended undermines the entire point of the extension in the first place.

If you heard the news today about Jake Cronenworth getting 7/80, you can see that 8/106 is already pretty fair for both sides. Any opt-out clause tilts the board drastically in Reynolds’ favor. As with the trade request leak, Reynolds’ agent is trying to force the team’s hand by negotiating through the press.


The 5/$65 MM figure presumes he’s good for those 5 years. Not entirely unreasonable, but risky. If they don’t think he’s going to be good for those 8 years, they have no business offering the contract, opt out or not. After all, if he’s washed up those last 3 years, they are on the hook for the money, opt out or not.

Personally, I think they should’ve traded him after 2021, and acquired players that lined up more with their competitive window. Then, they could’ve used this money to do what they should be doing now: resigning Cruz.

My protestations aside, they seem to really want to do this, and my comment was directed at a feasible way to do so: an opt out after year 5, at which point hopefully he’s still performing and exercises the opt out, thus leaving us off the hook for the last 3 years.

So basically for me it boils down to:

-They shouldn’t be doing this in the first place in my opinion. The money is spent best elsewhere.

-Based on aging curves, you can fairly well assume he’s probably going to be lousy for at least 2 of those 3 years, if not all three. He’d be doing them a favor opting out, in all likelihood.

Last edited 2 months ago by Mike

Not thinking Reynolds wants to wait that long for his opt out year.


They might need to make some slight structural changes to accommodate. Maybe toss in a little more money upfront? It’s not as if they don’t have some payroll capacity.


Just agree to the contract he wants then trade him to Texas for Leiter and White. Bring up swags for center, then they can shift suwinski to left and all is right and well🤣


Is Leiter actually a good pitching prospect at this point? All his statcast data was off in college and his first 23 game sample in affiliated ball was pretty miserable. 5.13 xFIP and almost 5 and a half walks per 9.


I didn’t care much for him in his draft year. The Rangers should have started his in A+ ball. He might have adjusted.


So true. Nutting can always get Reynolds off his books, if it’s the right business and baseball decision to do so.


Depends on if a no trade clause or his service time prevents a trade.


Service time can never be used to prevent a trade right (except a newly drafted player)? And a no trade clause would be the polar opposite of what BRey is currently asking for.


I dont remember the exact rule but i think 10 and 5 can? 10 years with the same team… but idk when he would reach that and i could definitely be remembering that wrong


5 and 10 = five consecutive years with the same team and ten years of MLB service time = player can veto any trade. Reynolds won’t get to 5 and 10 until 9 days into the 2029 season.


Many people are saying that 7 110 with no opt outs is the ideal fair deal. Many people, many people


I think that may be a hair too rich, probably more in the $100mm-$105mm range, but nonetheless, this should be the baseline for any negotiation. Now, add-subtract your team-player options, buy outs-opt outs, etc.


whatever works

i wouldnt lose sleep over an extra .7 mil per year, which is the difference between a 105 and a 110 offer.

subtracting a year and keeping money constant-ish and also forgetting about the opt-out just seems like a really nice compromise to me.


The years and dollar amount have NOT been agreed upon; options, buy-outs, and opt-outs have considerable value and can significantly change the framework or structure of any potential deal. I just wonder what side did the bait-and-switch here. It seems very odd that you could agree to years and dollars and not discuss “conceptual” issues.


Well his Agent went public in January…….who do you think changed the framework?


Well, this is really Reynolds first bite, and BC has been in the dormant stage of extensions except for the Hayes extension. I sure hope the Pirates do not let Reynolds walk away from the table. With a satisfied Reynolds and Hayes as anchors for at least the next 4 years, this team could develop into a playoff contender.

Am I correct that we spent $32 mil on one and done FA’s this year?

Scam likely

Straight 8 no opt out, 8yrs 117 , pirates don’t want to give him a opt out, give him more money.


Thanks for the update AM. I expect the Pirates to make a last ditch effort to convince Reynolds to opt out after 5 – which I doubt will happen unless the Pirates buy that 5th year with a lot more bucks.

IMO, Reynolds would be accepting what I would consider a Club beneficial contract, and giving the Pirates his first year of FA in 2026. That means if he opts out he is still going into his age 32 season and would be able to get another bite at the apple.

Basically, he’s betting on himself this next 4 years. It’s just a matter of getting financial security out of the way and concentrate on playing ball!

If the Pirates kick this can down the road after coming this far, then there is no hope for them in today’s professional baseball world. Get Reynolds signed, then start the work on Oneil Cruz. Chances are a lot better after showing the players the club is willing to spend the money it takes to compete.


Agree on the year 5 opt out. Makes the deal 5/$65 MM. Being that he’s willing to backload you can add some money into the opt out years. Also, I wonder if they’ll have the money to do a $150 MM+ deal with Cruz after this.


If I were Cruz, I’d be betting on myself. With his raw talent, if he applies himself to the craft, he will make a ton more than $150 million.

Pirates should be figuring out how to build a team around him for the next 4 years.


I listed the amount – $32 mil – I think the Pirates have contracted to players in 2023 that are One and Done – if we can throw money like that at one year players, we have plenty to offer to young prospects who can help for 5, 6, or 7 years! Cruz would be the first position player to try to sign, and then Endy next year. Maybe we can take a page from the Atlanta GM’s book and look to sign Roansy Contreras, Luis Ortiz, Johan Oviedo, Burrows, etc. if they look good.


Mr. DJ can you play Dreams by Fleetwood Mac in honor of Emjay in TN, please.


Have not looked at it yet, but wanted to thank you for posting this info


They have him 3/36 already
If he’s good they have him 4/48
If he’s bad they have him 8/108

PS – it’s out there that his first ask was supposedly 7/134 BUT he might’ve wanted an opt out in there


If the qualifying offer is $20 million and he’s getting $13.5 over the next two years that’s pretty close. If he’s bad, however, he won’t get less than what he’s making already. Probably still get $8 in 2025.

But if he’s bad you don’t make the qualifying offer and save $20 mill. So bad BR cost is only $22.5 million over 3.

$45-$48 sounds about right for good if he takes the offer, which he won’t and you get a pick. So good you only get three years.


Also if he’s good he will be traded so …

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