Listening is the Job, but Executing Would Be Especially Dumb

11-12-21 – By Gary Morgan – @garymo2007 on Twitter

Hey! Here are all the teams that could use a great, young player, with years of control.

Proceed to list 15 teams.

Look over there, the Pirates have a guy just like that, what do they need him for they stink and he’s going to cost them some money at some point.

Proceed to ask 15 teams if they’re interested.

Feign shock when 15 teams say of course. Act further shocked when 5 or 6 say they actually called about said player.

Report. Reap Clicks.

There it is folks, the roadmap for “breaking news” in the baseball world.

Bryan Reynolds isn’t going anywhere, as I’ve been telling you for at least a year, and try as you might, you can’t convince me a package could be put together that wouldn’t get the counterpart GM fired on the spot.

What we’re seeing right now is a combination of actual GMs having actual GM conversations, reporters fishing for stories, reporters picking up stories that happened back around the deadline, the general misunderstanding of fans about what GMs do when someone calls on anyone, and if I might be so bold, wishful thinking on the part of those covering big market teams.

The Pirates own the rights to Bryan Reynolds through 2025, and without an extension he very much so will be up for discussion every single deadline and offseason for ever and ever. Even with an extension, providing it’s reasonably team friendly, it’ll only delay this stuff by a season or two.

He’s good, like real good, so of course other teams want him. What many fans want to hear is that Ben Cherington blew raspberries into the phone and hung up then sent a cease and desist order to the offending party. In reality, what every GM would do, even if someone called the Angels on Ohtani, is listen.

See everyone has a price, but the willingness to actually pay it, well that’s a horse of a different color. If the Rays called and offered Wander Franco and Randy Arozarena straight up, of course you’d do it. Now, I put this forward because inevitably people will start trying to change my mind or convince me it could be done, but even a prolific GM like Erik Neander should at least be on shaky ground after a move like that.

With 4 years left at a minimum, a package for Reynolds would be astronomical as our friends Justin and Joe illustrated well the other day in their Two Guys Talkin’ Piece.

AKA, not gonna happen.

No, not even Bob Nutting wants to trade an established young MLB star with years of control for prospects. Reynolds is the goal.

Now, keep saying Reynolds will get traded, eventually you’ll be right, so there’s no danger in pushing the narrative, but not now, not yet.

Cherington and company were hired in 2019 as I’m quite sure most of you know, trading Reynolds would say very clearly to the fan base that they don’t see this team getting close, and close is a key word here, by 2025. Think about that.

If that’s true, I suggest they hired the wrong guy.

At some point if you’re going to make a jump, you have to slam a foot down, and that’s what 2022 needs to be for the Pirates. The product of sifting, and unlike the first round, this time they need to keep the gems they’ve found.

No that doesn’t mean because Colin Moran is still here he’s part of the core that wins, it means quite literally, you have Reynolds, Hayes, Bednar and a few more interesting possibilities we need to learn more about with tons of team control. That’s the damn goal folks, that’s why you do this.

You hope some of those possibilities pan out to turn your core into 6 or 7 deep, then you hope some come out of this first wave of prospects by 2023 with Cruz, Roansy, Yajure and others. That’s how you build it out, and that’s where they are.

Remove Reynolds from that group and this entire thing gets sent back monumentally. I say all this and I STILL think Cherington has to take the calls and talk. If for nothing else, to find out who’s valuable to teams in their own system, and who isn’t, because at some point you may very well be interested in a deal with them and calling at the time of desperation will change the intel.

If you want to worry about something like this, I can’t stop you. If it’s just fun for you to come up with trade possibilities, that’s of course your choice, but I defy you to have it make sense with where the Pirates are in this heavy lift.

I’m going to cover this team regardless of league inequities, owner shortcomings, poor moves, whatever, but if this team trades Bryan Reynolds right now, I can’t wrap my head around anything that comes close to making sense. Not even the Rays would pull the trigger this early, and they’ve proven more often than not they know what they’re doing.

If fans that have clung to the job Cherington has been doing decided to jump ship, I can’t say I’d blame them. There is simply no way to sell this and that’s even if they technically “win” the trade, because at the end of the day, Bryan Reynolds IS the window. Extend him and keep it open longer, trade him and slam it on your fingers.

Published by Gary Morgan

Former contributor for Inside the Pirates an SI Team Channel

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