Bryan Reynolds was all over the rumor mill in the offseason, with the Los Angeles Dodgers among his potential destinations at the time. Reynolds is a star, and when he asked out of Pittsburgh after requesting a trade, it felt like the relationship between himself and the Pirates organization was damaged beyond repair.
It turns out that wasn’t the case whatsoever. Reynolds and the Pirates agreed to an eight-year extension worth $106.5 million. The Pirates have gotten off to a nice start, and their future continues to trend in the right direction following this deal.
The Dodgers got a firsthand taste of that after dropping a series in Pittsburgh this week as their outfield issues beyond Mookie Betts and James Outman continue to loom large.
How does Bryan Reynolds extension affect Dodgers’ trade deadline endeavors?
The Dodgers’ outfield situation is a bit of a mess, especially with Betts now playing shortstop. David Peralta has a .442 OPS. After Trayce Thompson’s three-home-run game, he’s really struggled and is now hitting .171 on the season. Chris Taylor is hitting .155 as he continues to trend in the wrong direction offensively.
Jason Heyward has been surprisingly solid, but given his track record, how long will that last? Outman has been the Dodgers’ best everyday outfielder and second-best hitter overall, but who knows how long that’ll last either. It feels like the Dodgers’ roster at this very moment isn’t doing anything. The injuries and underperforming veterans feel like too much to overcome, unless Andrew Friedman gets aggressive.
Reynolds would’ve been a perfect piece, and the Dodgers had the assets necessary to land him. He’s a switch-hitter who can bat anywhere in the lineup. He can hit for power and get on base at a high clip, which is something this team lacks. His defense is questionable in center field, but they could play him in left. And sadly, outside of Reynolds, it’s hard to see a great fit that might become available at the trade deadline.
Can a Cardinals outfielder like Dylan Carlson or Tyler O’Neill eventually be an option? Maybe. Are they good enough to move legitimate prospects for? Not so sure about that. Can someone like Charlie Blackmon make sense as a rental? With the extra playoff spot in each league, it’s hard to identify sellers, especially this early. But even if you ponder best-case scenarios, none compare to Reynolds.
If the Dodgers want to complete this season, they’re going to have to improve their outfield situation. The Padres will eventually get their act together, the Braves look like the powerhouse they always are, and the Mets will likely get back on track once their health improves.
Now that the Reynolds ship has sailed as the Dodgers look to buy more time, it appears as if Friedman’s creativity will need to come in handy over the next few months.