Outfielder Bryan Reynolds, who spent last season with the Pittsburgh Pirates, made it clear Wednesday he would prefer to be traded since he has not gotten a long-term deal.
In his first public comments about his trade request, the All-Star outfielder said there’s been a “difference of opinion” regarding his worth as a player.
Reynolds did express his appreciation for the Pirates organization and the fans. While he did not completely close the door on signing a new contract with Pittsburgh, he noted the two sides have been far apart in previous negotiations.
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“I think I’ve been pretty open over the past few years that my No. 1 would be to sign an extension in Pittsburgh, but I want that to be a fair deal for both sides — not one side or the other. Not a crazy player [deal], not a crazy team deal,” he said, via MLB.com. “That’s always been my No. 1.”
The Pirates do have some leverage since Reynolds remains under team control the next three seasons. The 28-year-old signed a two-year, $13.5 million contract last spring.
Despite the deal buying out Reynolds’ first two years of arbitration, he did not seem happy with how talks have developed.
“I think we have a right to have those emotions, too, and that’s what we did. But, obviously, we can’t force them to do anything,” Reynolds said.
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Reynolds pledged to be ready for the upcoming season.
“Like I said, I’m here,” Reynolds said. “I’m always going to be where my feet are at. I’m here right now, so I’m locked in for 100% Pirates and whatever that takes. I’m just down here now to get my work in and start to have a good season.”
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Manager Derek Shelton doubled down on his belief that Reynolds would not be a distraction for the team.
“There is a business side to this game,” Shelton said. “You have to understand that. Our expectation, my expectation and everything that I think Bryan has said to me personally and publicly, is he’s going to be the same guy and go about his business. That’s kind of what we expect. Don’t think there’s going to be anything different.”
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The Pirates reportedly shopped Reynolds after he made the trade request, but he wasn’t dealt. The Pirates drafted Reynolds out of Vanderbilt in 2016, and he made his big league debut in 2019.