The Yankees are still eyeing a huge deal for Brian Reynolds
The New York Yankees are clearly willing to give Aaron Hicks another chance at being the starting left fielder in 2023. And while Rafael Ortega and Willie Calhoun had a good run during spring training, the Bombers want Hicks to max out his contract and return to his former self, i.e. Three years removed.
For now, the Yankees are content to sit still and wait for the summer trade deadline to make any moves, which is a smart decision. Ultimately, the Yankees can make acquisitions now, but they risk an injury, similar to what happened to Andrew Benintende last year, which knocked him out in the postseason and hurt the Yankees’ World Series chances.
Despite Hicks being in the field to start 2022, the Yankees still had one of the best offenses in baseball during the first half of the season. It wasn’t until after the All-Star broke due to injury and inconsistencies that things began to unravel.
With that being said, there should be no rush to get a left-hander now when they can wait until the deadline and potentially get great talent at a cheaper cost. The obvious solution would be Brian Reynolds, who has been heavily associated with the Yankees in recent months.
Yankees still keeping tabs on Brian Reynolds:
The Pirates tried to extend Reynolds’ contract, offering him an $80 million, six-year contract at the end of last year, but he easily turned it down. Reynolds is looking for a $134 million deal over eight years that, according to The Athletic’s Rob Bertempeville, pays him $16.75 million a season on average, which isn’t astronomical.
The Pirates wanted a Juan Soto-type trade package for Reynolds in the offseason, but if the Yankees wait patiently until the trade deadline, that asking price will likely come down.
According to Yankees executives, the Buccaneers are telling interested clubs they want to keep trying to lock up Reynolds at least until the All-Star break.
But if Reynolds isn’t signed long-term by then, the Pirates may be making more sense in trade talks than they were over the winter.
Via Randy Miller from NJ.com.
As long as Reynolds doesn’t sign a new contract with Pittsburgh, he’ll likely be out, and the Yankees will have plenty of chops to move if needed. Despite not having high prospects for the promotion, after moving two of their high-profile weapons in exchange for Frankie Montas and Scott Efros, a break from the other assets would be necessary.
Of course, players like Gleiber Torres stand out, given he doesn’t have a year left in control before hitting free agency in 2025, and who’s to say they’re not trying to move Oswald Peraza with Anthony Volpe making the jump to the big leagues? One way or another, it’s realistic to think that the Yankees will try to improve the left field position heading into the playoffs, and Reynolds is definitely one of the best options out there.
To give you some context on just how talented Reynolds is, the 28-year-old hit .262 with a 0.345 OBP, 27 homers, and 62 RBIs last year. In 2021, he hit a stellar 302, with a 0.390 OBP, 24 homers, and 90 RBIs. Given his switch hitting batter, Reynolds would pitch an outstanding offense at Yankee Stadium. He’s also a much better left-hander than anywhere else.
One way or another, Reynolds is going to cost a pretty penny to any team looking to get his services. However, if the Yankees see left field as a weakness over the summer and feel they have a realistic chance of making a World Series, they should pull the trigger and shut it down for the next few years, because he won’t hit free agency until 2026.