Now that the Dodgers have signed Noah Syndergaard, I don’t really know what to do. I spent so much time and effort pushing for them to sign him, I somewhat neglected the rest of their needs.
But now that we can move on from Syndergaard, and since we now know the Dodgers do, in fact, know that the offseason has begun, it’s time for me to start pushing the next move they should make.
The Dodgers’ biggest hole now that the rotation is shored up (for now (this is a foreshadow by the way)) is in the outfield, and good news for them, there’s a really good outfielder who’s kind of available that they can make a run for. If the “kind of available” didn’t give it away, and you also failed to read the headline of the article, then here comes the big reveal: Pirates OF Bryan Reynolds.
Reynolds is by far the best outfielder available right now, but the problem is, we don’t really know how available he is. The most recent report we got was from The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, who said the Pirates were listening to offers, but don’t really want to move him.
However, they seem pretty far off on extension talks, and he’s only going to grow angrier as he’s not due for free agency until 2026. So it really would make a lot of sense for them to trade him, especially if they got a good offer. That’s where the Dodgers come in.
The Dodgers have Major League ready talent, tons of top prospect and, most importantly, a need in the outfield. They also have much deeper pockets than the Pirates, and would have a greater chance of meeting Reynolds’ demands in extension talks.
Who is Bryan Reynolds?
Bryan Reynolds is by no means going to be cheap. So if you’re a fan who doesn’t want the Dodgers to give up some real talent, you might want to stop reading.
Reynolds was an All-Star in 2021, and has been one of the more underrated players in baseball since he entered the league in 2019 — playing in Pittsburgh has definitely contributed to that.
He crushed 27 and 24 home runs in the last two seasons, with a combined 152 RBIs. He’s had an OPS greater than .800 in three of his four seasons, including an impressive .912 in 2021. He’s also a versatile defender, spending time in left, center and right field in his career. But the Dodgers’ biggest need right now is in center, which is where he played in 127 games last season and 137 the season prior.
Hat trick for Bryan Reynolds! pic.twitter.com/Mt0QdyyC8T
— Pittsburgh Pirates (@Pirates) June 29, 2022
Okay, now I’ve laid it out for you, so you can understand why the Dodgers have to give up some real talent in the offer. So here’s one potential trade proposal, although you can mix and match with the prospects.
Dodgers receive: OF Bryan Reynolds
Pirates receive: RHP Tony Gonsolin, OF Andy Pages
Before you run to the comments to tell me that the Dodgers aren’t trading Tony Gonsolin, let me make my case. The Gonsolin that we saw for the first few months of last season was awesome. He was pitching like a Cy Young candidate, and was looking like a real ace at just 28-years-old. But then we saw what happens when he has a full workload — which, may I add, was just 128.1 innings. He missed six weeks on the IL, returned to pitch two more innings at the end of the season and then fizzled out in the postseason, getting just four outs in his Game 3 start.
It became very clear at the end of last year that Gonsolin’s arm is not made for a full season as a starter. He’s a really good pitcher when healthy, but he’s just not going to be able to give consistent strong starts over the course of a long season and postseason. There’s also a pretty good chance he has some natural regression next year, and that the early 2022 version of Gonsolin was his peak — but we can call that more of a hunch.
As for the second part of the trade, there are a few ways it can go. The Dodgers may attach two or three mid-to-low level prospects, but I see Reynolds’ market being hot. Pages is the Dodgers No. 5 ranked prospect, but has a tough path to the Majors behind Michael Busch and Miguel Vargas — and it would be even harder with Reynolds in the mix. One of those guys is likely to be moved, and Pages feels like the most likely.
And for those who are thinking, ‘this is way too much value to give up for Reynolds!’ Baseball Trade Values would disagree. Reynolds’ value is at 59.9, while Gonsolin (33.2) and Pages (25.3) come in at a combined 58.5. So I would call that pretty even.
In baseball, you have to give value to get value (unless, of course, you’re trading for Mookie Betts, I guess). This would be the perfect move for the Dodgers to make, and after adding Reynolds, they can, again, scour the market for another starting pitcher. But that’ll be my next article.
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