BRADENTON, Fla. (AP)Bryan Reynolds requested a trade this offseason. He also had no real power to force one.
So he’s back at spring training with Pittsburgh, preparing for another season with the Pirates. There’s no use looking too far into an uncertain future.
”I’m always going to be where my feet are at,” the 28-year-old outfielder said Wednesday. ”I’m here right now, so I’m locked in for a hundred percent Pirates – whatever that takes.”
Pittsburgh’s first workout for pitchers and catchers was Wednesday, but for outfielders like Reynolds it’s not until Monday. So he was in camp several days early. Still, Reynolds said nothing has really changed since he made his trade request before the winter meetings.
He made it clear the request is related to his desire for a contract extension – and not any discontent with playing in Pittsburgh.
”I’ve always said I like playing here. I like the city, I like the fans, I like the stadium. We like living in Pittsburgh for half the year,” he said. ”I’m happy. I like my teammates, I like the staff, I like all that.”
He also indicated he’d be willing to stay if the price is right.
”My number one would be to sign an extension in Pittsburgh, but I want that to be a fair deal for both sides,” Reynolds said. ”Not a crazy player, not a crazy team deal. That’s always been my number one.”
The problem for Reynolds is that although he’s a good player who might bring back a nice return for the Pirates if they dealt him, Pittsburgh can keep him a while if it wants. In fact, when he made his trade request, the Pirates said that would have ”zero impact” on the team’s decision-making and noted he still has three years before hitting free agency.
That’s a reality Reynolds acknowledges.
”I was frustrated,” he said. ”I think we have a right to kind of have those emotions, too, and that’s what we did, but obviously can’t force them to do anything.”
Reynolds hit .302 with 24 home runs and was an All-Star in 2021. His average dipped to .262 last year, when he hit a career-high 27 homers.
If the Pirates do trade him soon, it would be a full-circle moment. Reynolds came to Pittsburgh in the 2018 deal that sent star outfielder Andrew McCutchen to San Francisco. Now McCutchen has returned to the Pirates via free agency.
”Full circle, coming from being in that trade and answering all the questions about me trying to replace McCutchen,” Reynolds said. ”Now he’s finally back.”
Now McCutchen might end up helping replace Reynolds. Not yet, though.
”I’m just going to focus on the same thing I’ve always focused on,” Reynolds said. ”Try to be the best player and try to help us win.”
Follow Noah Trister at www.twitter.com/noahtrister
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