PITTSBURGH — Less than five months after asking the Pittsburgh Pirates to trade him, Bryan Reynolds agreed to the largest contract in franchise history.
“He’s the one who kept all of us motivated to keep coming back and trying to figure this out,” general manager Ben Cherington said after the eight-year, $106.75 million deal with the outfielder was announced. “I really think that’s the answer. Not everything worth doing is easy. It’s not supposed to be. Some things worth doing are hard and that’s OK. You still keep working at it because it’s worth doing. I think Bryan just kept (coming back) to the table.”
Reynolds was also convinced of the Pirates’ direction despite the team losing 101 games in 2021 and 100 games last year. Pittsburgh entered tied with Atlanta for the best record in the National League at 16-8.
“I’ve been saying it since spring – the talent we’ve got, the young talent that’s still coming and just talking about the culture that we’ve been building,” Reynolds said. “All those things combined and that combined too with the city, the fans, everything. It’s just something that, since I’ve gotten here (in 2019), it’s what I’ve wanted to be a part of for a long time.”
Reynolds, 29, is hitting .294 with five home runs and 17 RBIs in 22 games this season. He was a starter in the 2021 All-Star Game, then hit a career-high 27 homers last season.
He returned to the Pirates’ lineup against the Los Angeles Dodgers after missing two games while on the bereavement list. Outfielder Canaan Smith-Njigba was optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis, and the Pirates placed right-handed reliever Wil Crowe on the 15-day injured list with right shoulder discomfort while recalling right-hander Cody Bolton from Indianapolis.
Reynolds had been scheduled to earn $6.75 million in the second season of a two-year, $13.5 million contract and would have been eligible for free agency after the 2025 season.
Instead, Reynolds will receive a $2 million signing bonus payable within 30 days of the contract’s approval by the commissioner’s office and salaries of $6.75 million this year, $10 million in 2024, $12 million in 2025, $14 million in 2026 and $15 million in each of the following four seasons. Pittsburgh’s 2031 option is for $20 million with a $2 million buyout.
He gets a hotel suite on road trips starting with the 2024 season.
Reynolds would get a $250,000 bonus for winning NL MVP, $150,000 for second and $100,000 for third, $75,000 for a Silver Slugger, $50,000 for election or selection to the All-Star Game or for winning World Series MVP, and $25.000 each for a Gold Glove or League Championship Series MVP.