If there have been any further developments in the Bryan Reynolds negotiations, Ben Cherington is being mum about it.
The Pirates reportedly had been engaged in contract extension talks with Reynolds last month. It looked like a deal was nearing the finish line on Opening Day, but nothing ever got done – with a disagreement over an opt-out said to be stalling things.
It’s a delicate situation, especially since we’re coming off an offseason in which Reynolds requested a trade. He said in camp that ultimately what he is looking for is a fair contract, and it's not clear if talks are still ongoing.
Appearing on The Fan Morning Show ahead of the Pirates home opener, the general manager offered little in the way of details about the latest on Reynolds.
“Well, nothing new is going on with Bryan Reynolds,” Cherington said. “We’d be saying the same thing I’ve always said, we appreciate him so much, we respect him, love him as a player, I’m glad he’s a Pirate. Excited to see him in left field today for our opener and he’s off to a great start and really focused. That’s where our focus is, is on the field, and he’s been leading the charge for us so far.”
The Pirates have come under fire for trading away homegrown talent instead of extending them and establishing a long-term core.
Certainly, trading Reynolds would be a continuation of that trend, which has seen Joe Musgrove, Josh Bell, Jameson Taillon and Clay Homes, among others, all traded away in Cherington’s tenure alone. He insists that keeping homegrown talent is a goal of theirs.
“Oh sure. I think we all want that," Cherington said. "We want to be in a position where we have that door open with players and we can have those conversations and we hope that over time we line up with guys at the right time and are able to do that. But those are conversations I always prefer to keep private between us and players, and certainly as we get into the season, our home opener today, we want to do everything we can to keep our focus on the field.”
This is an interesting time for the Pirates. Between Reynolds and O’Neil Cruz, in particular, the Pirates have some of the starting pieces for what could be a decent core -- and they already extended Ke'Bryan Hayes. If they want to buck the aforementioned trend, now might be the time.