Pittsburgh Pirates sign Bryan Reynolds to six-year, $85 million contract extension

Pittsburgh Pirates sign Bryan Reynolds to six-year, $85 million contract extension

Over the winter, Reynolds requested a trade from Pittsburgh, who had originally acquired him from the San Francisco Giants in a deal before the 2018 season. The 28-year-old Reynolds, whose 14 wins above replacement over his five-year career rank 34th in baseball, will have the right to block a trade to six teams of his choice annually but will have no opt-out. The deal starts this year and includes a ninth-year team option for 2031. He was supposed to hit free agency after the 2025 season.

Reynolds has made a hot start this year, hitting .294/.319/.552 and leading the team with 18 RBIs. He is tied for the club lead with five home runs and has three stolen bases, which has helped the Pirates, whose 16-7 record is the best in the National League and second only to the 20-3 Tampa Bay Rays. Pittsburgh is missing its other cornerstone, shortstop Oneil Cruz, who broke his left leg on a slide into home plate.

Reynolds spent most of his first four seasons playing center field but has spent more time in left field this year. He was at his best in 2021 when he made the National League All-Star team and hit .302/.390/.522 and put up 5.9 WAR. For his career, Reynolds is hitting .282/.359/.484 with 79 home runs and 257 RBIs in 515 games.

The deal, which was first reported by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, is similar to ones previously signed by the Minnesota Twins’ Byron Buxton and the Seattle Mariners’ Kyle Seager. It includes a $2 million signing bonus on top of the $6.75 million he was supposed to make this year and will pay him $10 million next year, $12 million in 2025, $14 million in 2026, $15 million each year from 2027 to 2030, and has a $20 million option with a $2 million buyout for 2031.

Reynolds is now the second Pirates player, alongside third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes, whose $70 million contract last year was the previous biggest in franchise history, to be locked up beyond the 2023 season. The Pirates may consider extending Cruz and right-hander Mitch Keller as they try to escape a four-year stretch during which they have not won 70 games in a season.

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