The Bryan Reynolds Storyline is Changing, or Is It?

2-10-23 – By Gary Morgan – @garymo2007 on Twitter

Well, for some it certainly is anyway.

Some of this stuff is really about perception more than reality. We’ve had a Winter full of blustery trade proposals, narratives pushed forward about a pissed off player who hates not only his pay grade but the poor players put around him, and an aloof GM who couldn’t care less what the player wants.

Some Yankees blogs have lived almost entirely on two stories all off season, Arron Judge re-signing and the eventuality they’d get Bryan Reynolds in a trade from the hapless Pirates.

Local journalists and bloggers have run the gambit too, from overt despair and anger on to apathy that maybe he’d play until the trade deadline and now the burgeoning feeling that there might just be some hope here yet.

Here’s where we are.

  • The Pirates made an offer to Bryan Reynolds and his team to extend his contract.
  • Bryan’s Agent, CAA, who has a history of doing things just like this as a negotiation tactic, and Bryan, we can’t pretend he didn’t approve the plan here, requested a trade from the Pirates in an effort to get the team to be more serious, AKA increase their offer, add some urgency to the proceedings.
  • The Pirates almost immediately put forward that they had no desire to trade Bryan, and that he was a big part of their plan. They further said he still had a good, and even warm relationship with the team and they wish his agent hadn’t gone public with this. A bit disingenuous here if only because they made it sound like Reynolds wasn’t involved with the decision, but clearly he was or you’d have to imagine he’d have new representation.
  • The Pirates listened to trade offers, and they’ve stated publicly in the past, they listen to every offer, on everybody. For Bryan they reportedly asked for insane packages in return from the very beginning. Even sounds like some teams made some offers that might qualify, but again, no desire to move him whatsoever.
  • Two weeks ago, rival team executives started leaking they had to move on, and it simply wasn’t going to happen.
  • Last week Ben Cherington again said “Bryan will be a big part of this team” and for some reason this time it was taken as gospel. It’s literally the exact same phrase he uttered minutes after the initial news broke before the Winter Meetings, but this time it apparently meant more.
  • Finally today in the Friday Insider on DK Pittsburgh Sports (I’ll let you read it exactly for yourselves) but suffice to say, it’s shiny happy people time in Pirates land.

Now, I know my place. I’m a blogger and podcaster, not a journalist. I often don’t report things I know to be true until someone you’d believe reports it. I do that for selfish reasons, I want no parts of “breaking news”. That’s a game I can’t win quite frankly, nor do I want to, but on this, I’ve been pretty firm about the path forward all the way back to December.

I’ll remind you here that I also put forward they were not done talking about an extension, you know, just so it’s on record for when it happens and gets reported.

I don’t think it’s a given these two sides make it work, never did, but I did think getting to this point was always going to happen. In other words, I knew the player wouldn’t become a problem, and I knew the team was serious about not moving him.

The Pirates need this player, this year. As a fan, of course I think they need him a hell of a lot longer than that, but specifically this year, there was almost no chance they were going to spend as much as they did in free agency and then take a step back anyway. You can rightly point out that they still didn’t spend much, but put into perspective with what the Pirates typically do, you simply can’t pretend that didn’t matter.

If the Pirates and Reynolds do come together and get this done I think the best way we’ll be able to look back on this drama is to recognize that changing the culture of a baseball franchise isn’t easy. This whole thing could have played out in darkness if CAA had just let it play out. Part of me is glad they did what they did, ultimately the team has shown us that when they definitively say something on the record, they mean it. And Bryan has shown he’s mature enough to not allow the off field stuff to destroy his relationships. Both good things to know.

There still would have been trade proposals if CAA were quiet, there just might not have been the expectation that it would happen. Probably a lot more defiant Pirates fans thumbing their noses at everything put forward as a package. Quote tweets of everything Bryan has said about wanting to be here and being happy would be thrown back at Yankees bloggers instead of online negotiation we saw play out.

More than anything, this story has put a fog over everything else the Pirates have done this off season. Yes, mostly one year deals. Yes, mostly aging out players who aren’t going to be part of this team when and if they get where they’re going. But this team has done some good things, at the very least they’ve put together a roster that’s deeper in MLB talent than any they’ve had since 2018, and it was done with an internal knowledge that Bryan Reynolds would be a Pittsburgh Pirate in 2023.

Nobody knows how this situation or this season will turn out, but one thing is pretty clear, we can probably put this to bed for a while. He’s here, he’ll be here, and it’s finally time to play ball, both on and off the field with their best player.

Published by Gary Morgan

Former contributor for Inside the Pirates an SI Team Channel

4 thoughts on “The Bryan Reynolds Storyline is Changing, or Is It?

  1. The Bichette extension has to have a huge effect on Reynolds. It became abundantly clear that his value while under control is nowhere near what his agents think.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “I want no parts of “breaking news”. That’s a game I can’t win quite frankly, nor do I want to…”

    Yeah that stinks of self inflation. How bout this? You report what you think you know and let history prove it out. You’ll be more than a blogger if you can that with repute. As it stands your trying to gain ground on both sides “oh I’m an insider” but i can’t share… but “oh I’m a blogger” here’s my opinion… how about this: stick to the truth. Don’t promise truth you know but can’t share and don’t embellish on the truth you know. Just be honest. I’d love to read that more than this.


    1. Nah, I’ll stick to what I do with or without you. Everyone who does this shit hears things, reporting them without verification (2 sources) is irresponsible. Now a seasoned Journalist who has extremely trusted sources, they can play that game, not me. Just don’t read my stuff if you don’t like it Ben. Have a good day.


    2. Nothing wrong with bloggers offering opinions. I’d rather read this than rants from “insiders” like DK going on multiple tirades that “They don’t care!”
      “Sports Journalism” is filled with over inflated egos and immaturity and very little in the way if professional analysis. It is refreshing to read someone that doesn’t elevate themselves to be something that they are not, not talk about their need for weed due to the stress of their profession or believe that immature tantrums to stir up their followers is needed.

      Liked by 1 person

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