The Phillies are just one of many MLB teams badly in need of a center fielder, so it’s not surprising that they are among the many teams interested in trading for Pirates center fielder Bryan Reynolds. The Yankees and Marlins, along with the Phillies and several other teams, are said to be “aggressively pursuing” Reynolds, per The Athletic’s Jim Bowden.
Jon Heyman of Audacy Sports tweeted that the asking price for Reynolds is “astronomical.” Bowden expressed a similar sentiment and added that “no team has come close to finalizing a deal.”
Reynolds, 26, finished 11th in NL MVP voting in 2021. He slashed .302/.390/.471 with 24 home runs, 90 RBIs and a 142 wRC+ in 159 games and was also a Gold Glove finalist. He’ll fit the Phillies’ need for a center fielder and a middle-of-the-order bat.
To acquire Reynolds, the Phillies will most likely have to give up one of Mick Abel, Andrew Painter or Bryson Stott as well as a few other top 30 prospects in the system. Pittsburgh doesn’t have to trade him as Reynolds is Super Two arbitration eligible this season and under team control until 2026. They could sell high if they can get the prospect package they are looking for or keep him and revisit the idea at another time.
After Starling Marte, the free agent center field market is bleak. The Phillies could go the trade route to fulfill their need in center. They could pursue Kevin Kiermaier, the Rays’ glove-first center fielder who is owed $12 million in 2022. If they’re shooting for a center fielder with a similar ceiling as Reynolds, the Twins’ Byron Buxton could be a target.
For the Phillies, any upgrade they can make in center field is better than the production they’ve gotten from the position in recent years. Phillies center fielders combined for a .688 OPS in 2021.
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