Bryan Reynolds, an outfielder for the Pittsburgh Pirates, back in December told the Pirates front office that he wanted to be traded. Since then he has been linked to nearly a dozen teams including the Texas Rangers. He still has three more seasons of team control, but has refused extension offers from the team.
The latest offer was rumored to be six years and 75 million. They are apparently 50 million apart. Teams involved in discussions with the Pirates indicate they are looking for a Juan Soto-type trade. If that is true then I don't see a trade being consumated between Pittsburgh and Texas. Texas needs outfield help, but likely doesn't want to decimate the top level of their minor league system for just one player. If the Pirates in the next few weeks come down from their demands a trade could be completed. Lets examine what a realistic trade for Reynolds might end up looking like.
What a potential Bryan Reynolds trade would look like for the Rangers
The headliner of the trade is Jack Leiter. Leiter is the 45th ranked prospect according to MLB Pipeline and the Rangers' No. 2 prospect. In trades for established players teams must be willing to give up significant pieces and Leiter is a significant piece. The 2021 No. 2 pick was not as good as expected in his first professional season. He went 3-10 with a 5.54 ERA, and pitched 92 innings, but also had 109 strikeouts. He averaged more than a strikeout per inning. He still has a high ceiling as a top draft pick and has the pedigree to be a top of the rotation pitcher. If the Rangers make Leiter available in the trade, the Pirates certainly will not hang up the phone.
The second piece of the trade is Ezequiel Duran. The Pirates have been active this offseason building up their major league roster and potentially trying to make an early season run in the NL Central. Duran primarily played third base and shortstop in 2022 can also play second base and has been working in the outfield in Winter League ball. He is someone who can has a strong arm that will play all over the diamond. He also is an extra bases machine. He had 50 extra-base hits between Double- and Triple-A and had 16 extra-base hits in the 58 games he played for the Rangers. The Pirates really don't need help at shortstop or third base with Kebryan Hayes and Oneil Cruz at those positions. Duran can come in and compete with Rodolfo Castro for the second base job or he can compete for one of the outfield jobs. He is someone the Pirates will want to find room for in their lineup.
The third piece of the trade is Dane Dunning, a major league ready arm that can be added to their major league staff this season. Dunning was a 2016 First-Round pick out of the University of Florida. He is entering his 3rd full major league season and is now two years removed from Tommy John surgery. He did have undergo arthroscopic hip surgery at the end of the 2022 season, but all signs point to him being ready for the season. When healthy he would slot in as their fourth or fifth starter. He is someone that can pitch deep into games and will give the Pirates a chance to win most of his starts. They have added Rich Hill and Vince Velasquez to their rotation this offseason. Dunning would be another piece that is still fully controllable for the Pirates till after the 2026 season.
The fourth piece of the trade is Luisangel Acuna. He has primarily played SS/2b in the minors. He is very athletic and could make the move to the outfield and eventually replace Bryan Reynolds in center field. He is the brother of Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna. He has just started to mature and become a better prospect in the last year. Acuna who turns 21 this year spent most of the 2022 season in High-A Hickory, but finished the season at AA Frisco. Between the two levels he hit .277, with 11 home runs. 16 doubles, and had a 795 OPS, to go along with 40 stolen bases. He has tremendous bat speed and the potential to be a 20-20 or even 30-30 player in the future as he continues to develop more power. Acuna has the potential to be ready to contribute no later than 2024. He likely will start the season in Double-A, but will likely finish in Triple-A.
The trade would be Bryan Reynolds coming to Texas and Texas sending Jack Leiter, Zeke Duran, Dane Dunning, and Luisangel Acuna to the Pirates. The Pirates get help for their major league roster with Dunning and Duran and they get to continue to build their minor league system with Leiter and Acuna. I think this is a fair trade for both sides and if the Pirates were demanding significantly more I would be willing to walk away. A Pirates reporter recently tweeted it would take Jack Leiter, Evan Carter, and Owen White to do this trade. No team would be willing to trade three of their top five prospects for Bryan Reynolds. Reynolds is a good player, but he is not a generational player like a Juan Soto. The Rangers are apparently among the most serious suitors according to JP Morosi. We will see where this leads. I am of the belief the Rangers are wanting Reynolds, but are also content with what is in-house if the price remains so high to acquire Reynolds.