The Mariners had a lot of talks with the Pirates a couple of years ago about Bryan Reynolds. Ultimately, a trade never materialized, and Reynolds signed an 8-year extension with the Bucs. Reynolds has declined the last year, but that might be a little harsh as he is still a 2.5-win player both years following a 6-win season. I am not confident he is that same 6-win player, but I think there is a happy medium.
I know the Mariners have been, and I am sure still are, very interested in Reynolds, but does it make sense for both sides? What would a trade package potentially look like? Let's take a look.
Bryce Miller and Jarred Kelenic for Bryan Reynolds and Dauri Moreta
This trade could get weird, but I will try and keep it simple. It's tricky because the Pirates are a weird team. They always sell off talent that is about to be a free agent, and they finished 8 games back of the wild card, yet all of the reports I am seeing are that they think they can contend for a playoff spot this year. Bryan Reynolds is under control through 2030 with a club option for 2031 and he isn't that expensive with an AAV of just $13.3 million. So why would they want to trade him? Again, the Pirates are a weird team with a weak pitching staff dealing with injuries.
This gives the Pirates a solid middle-of-the-rotation starter in Miller, plus a high-upside outfielder who showed flashes of an above-average major leaguer. Kelenic compiled 1.3 fWAR in just 103 games. A
really bad month of June overshadows how productive he was. He's also under club control through 2028, something that is very valuable to the Pirates.
Ultimately, I don't know if either team would do this deal The Mariners would probably be reluctant to include both Kelenic and Miller as this leaves a hole in your rotation, which you could fill in free agency, but you're giving up Miller and Kelenic to upgrade from Kelenic to Reynolds and I just don't see the Mariners doing that. It still leaves a hole in a corner outfield spot. I also don't know if the Pirates would do this after just resigning Reynolds to a long-term deal. He is the core of that lineup and for a team about to enter their peak contending window with lots of prospects set to debut, I don't see them doing this deal either.