The Padres and Pirates have had recent trade discussions surrounding All-Star outfielder Bryan Reynolds, tweet USA Today’s Bob Nightengale. Young pitchers chris paddack and Ryan Weathers have both been mentioned as possible pieces going back to Pittsburgh, he adds.
It’s important to make a few key distinctions here. First and foremost, talks between the two parties don’t necessarily suggest that a deal is nigh — nor do they indicate that Pittsburgh is actively seeking to trade Reynolds. The Pirates have fielded Reynolds interest from more than a half-dozen teams since last summer alone, and he remains in camp with Pittsburgh.
Secondly, Paddack and Weathers are surely just two of a wide range of names that have been discussed. Even if both are of interest to the Bucs, additional pieces would assuredly need to be added. Paddack, for instance, is controlled for less time than Reynolds (three years to Reynolds’ four years) and is coming off a poor 2021 season that ended with an elbow injury. Weathers, meanwhile, is a former top-10 draft pick and top-100 prospect, but he was knocked around for a 5.32 ERA through 94 2/3 innings during last year’s rookie campaign. He’s controllable for another five years, at least.
As Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune tweet, San Diego’s interest in Reynolds is not a new revelation. However, if they are indeed discussing specific players that could go back to Pittsburgh, that’d mark a sign of progression over prior, more preliminary talks, Acee adds.
Reports last night indicated that the Padres are open to trading from both their starting pitching and catching surpluses in order to address their needs in the outfield. Padres skipper Bob Melvin just yesterday acknowledged that the lack of outfield depth is “a concern.” San Diego has been considering the possibility of playing top shortstop prospect CJ Abrams in the outfield early this season.
At the moment, the Padres have Trent Grisham and Wil Myers locked into outfield slots, but their left field situation is particularly dire. Newly acquired first baseman/outfielder Matt Beaty could see significant time there despite grading out as a poor defender. Switch-hitting utilityman Jurickson Profar is the other leading leading candidate, but he’s coming off a miserable 2021 season at the plate and has spent the bulk of his career playing the infield.
Reynolds is about as high-profile a target that Padres president of baseball operations AJ Preller could explore. That’s par for the course for Preller, who typically explores any and all opportunities to acquire a marquee player, however slim the chances may be. Preller and Pittsburgh counterpart Ben Cherington have lined up on a couple of trades over the past 13 months or so, however, as Pittsburgh traded both Joe Musgrove and Adam Frazier to San Diego in separate deals. As such, it’s likely that Paddack, Weathers and quite a few other Padres youngsters have already been discussed in previous trade talks between the two sides. Those prior talks could serve as groundwork to an extent, but evaluations and opinions of young players can change rapidly over the course of even just a few months’ time.
Reynolds has also been aggressively pursued by the Marlins, dating back to last year’s trade deadline. Other teams known to have interest in the switch-hitting 27-year-old include the Mariners, Yankees, Braves and Brewers, among others. It’s easy to see why when looking at Reynolds’ career .290/.368/.490 batting line and, in particular, last year’s .302/.390/.522 output. Reynolds is controllable all the way through the 2025 season, though, and between his elite performance and that long-term control, the asking price on him figures to be sky-high.
For instance, Craig Mish and Barry Jacksonn of the Miami Herald recently reported that the Pirates sought both shortstop Kahlil Watson and right-hander Max Meyer in talks with the Fish. Both recent first-rounders rank among the sport’s top-50 overall prospects. In past trade talks with the Mariners, the Bucs targeted uber-prospect Julio Rodriguez as the starting point and sought additional pieces beyond him, per Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times. With regard to the Padres, those prior asks on Reynolds underscore that Paddack and Weathers would likely be seen as secondary pieces, at best.
As for the Padres’ general outfield search, if they’re not able to strike up an agreement with the Pirates regarding Reynolds, there’s no shortage of alternative paths for them to explore. The Twins are known to be seeking rotation help and have plenty of outfielders — both in terms of established players (Max Kepler) and young, MLB-ready options with upside (Trevor Larnach, Alex Kirilloff). The Yankees could use additional options on the mound and behind the plate, and they have a crowded outfield mix (which includes former Padres trade target Joey Gallo). The Angels are deep in young outfielders (eg Joe Adell, Brandon Marsh) and are always on the hunt for rotation help. The Mariners, similarly, could use another starter and have a deep collection of outfield talent on the 40-man roster. Preller could also look to Baltimore’s Cedric Mullins gold Austin Haysthough Mullins in particular is a Reynolds-esque long shot to be moved.