Bryan Reynolds and the Pittsburgh Pirates have reportedly agreed to an eight-year, $106.75 million extension. Failed extension talks between Reynolds and the Pirates brewed over the last year, but the two sides finally came to an agreement.
Since joining Pittsburgh in 2019, Reynolds has been one of the best outfielders in the National League, as his 13.0 FanGraphs Wins Above Replacement (fWAR) is the seventh-most among qualified players at the position.
Besides the shortened 2020 season, Reynolds has consistently been a bright spot in an otherwise disappointing Pirates lineup. In each of Reynolds’ three full MLB seasons, his weighted Runs Created+ (wRC+) has been at least 25% above average, with his best season coming in his 2021 All Star campaign.
In 2023, Reynolds has continued his hitting success (127 wRC+), but he’s doing it on a winning team for the first time. Albeit in just 23 games, the Pirates have the most wins in the National League (16).
For the Pirates to have success in the short and long term, Reynolds had to be an integral part of their plans. Before signing his extension, Reynolds was set to become a free agent following the 2025 season.
As a result of the Pirates’ continued losing seasons and Reynolds still under arbitration for three seasons, he was one of the most sought-after players via trade, but the Pirates didn’t budge despite not securing a long-term deal with him entering the 2023 season.
Bryan Reynolds now officially part of the Pittsburgh Pirates future plans
Instead of trading Reynolds for potential future All-Stars, the Pirates kept their All-Star, and on a reasonable contract. While Reynolds is the first player in franchise history to sign a contract for more than $100 million, his average annual value from 2024-2030 is $13.7 million (for comparison, Andrew Benintendi’s White Sox contract pays him $15 million annually).
The Pirates position player core is quickly forming at the major league level, highlighted by Reynolds, Oneil Cruz, Ke’Bryan Hayes and Jack Suwinski. Additionally, top prospects Termarr Johnson, Endy Rodriguez and Henry Davis are looming in the minor leagues.
On the pitching side, the Pirates have quality and controllable starters Mitch Keller and Roansy Contreras in Pittsburgh with Luis Ortiz and Quinn Priester looking to join them soon.
When the Pirates began their rebuild in 2018, one of the moves they made was trading franchise icon Andrew McCutchen to the San Francisco Giants for two prospects — Bryan Reynolds and Kyle Crick.
Now, as the Pirates are inching back toward contending, the trade came full circle. As a free agent, McCutchen signed a one-year contract to return to Pittsburgh, and so far, he and Reynolds helped the Pirates lineup to a 107 wRC+, on pace to be its best offensive season since 2014, when McCutchen and company won 88 games.
By committing to Reynolds until at least 2030, the Pirates committed to winning now and for the foreseeable future — a huge step forward for the organization.