Despite trade request, Bryan Reynolds wanted to stay with Pirates

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

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.

Nationals blow 6-run lead, rebound to beat Phillies 8-7

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WASHINGTON (AP) Lane Thomas singled in the go-ahead run in the eighth inning and the Washington Nationals sent the Philadelphia Phillies to their fifth straight loss, winning 8-7 after blowing a six-run lead.

The defending NL champion Phillies have just five victories in their last 18 games and are tied with the Nationals at the bottom of the NL East at 25-32.

“We’ve got to overcome it,” Phillies manager Rob Thomson said. “We’ve got to play better, get consistent in all phases and keep moving forward.”

Alex Call drew a two-out walk against Connor Brogdon (2-1) in the eighth, stole second on a low pitch that catcher JT Realmuto couldn’t make a throw on and scored on Thomas’ single to right center.

“The way Lane’s swinging the bat, if you can get on second base, we can win the game,” Call said. “I look over and the ball’s in the dirt, he doesn’t catch it. Now I’m saying: ‘All right, Lane. Come on!’”

Kyle Finnegan (3-2) pitched 1 2/3 innings for the victory, stranding the tying run on second in the ninth.

Nick Castellanos homered twice, singled, doubled and drove in five runs for Philadelphia, which had scored just three runs in its past three games.

“There’s definitely a lot of positives as a group,” Castellanos said. “Showing some fight. It would have been really, really easy to lay down and allow the way the game started to be the way that it finished.”

Down 7-1 after four innings, Philadelphia tied it at 7 in the eighth. Brandon Marsh worked a nine-pitch walk against Mason Thompson leading off, and Drew Ellis singled with one out. Finnegan came on to face Kyle Schwarber, who hit a ground ball up the middle. Shortstop CJ Abrams fielded it behind it behind second base, touched second for one out, but threw wildly to first and Marsh came home with the tying run.

Castellanos’s second homer, a two-run shot to center in the sixth, pulled the Phillies to 7-3 and Marsh added an RBI single in the inning.

In the seventh, Schwarber doubled with one out and Bryson Scott reached on an infield single. Hunter Harvey came on and walked Bryce Harper to load the bases. Castellanos singled to center scoring two runs to make it 7-6.

Luis Garcia homered and Jeimer Candelario doubled twice and drove in three runs for the Nationals, who have won seven of 12.

Philadelphia starter Zack Wheeler, coming off eight shutout innings against Atlanta, allowed seven runs on eight hits in 3 2/3 innings.

“This one’s on me really,” Wheeler said. “Guys battled back. Just couldn’t finish it out. We know who we have in this room and what we’ve got to do.”

Josiah Gray gave up four runs on six hits in 5 1/3 innings for Washington.

Candelario doubled just beyond the reach of left fielder Schwarber to drive in the first of Washington’s two runs in the first.

In the second, Abrams hit a one-out drive to deep center that Marsh misplayed into a double. With two outs and two on, Candelario doubled off the wall in right center to make it 5-0.

Garcia ended Wheeler’s night with a solo homer in the fourth.

“When you come out the way we did, you’ve got to tack on,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said. “It didn’t happen tonight, but we got one more than the other guys.”


Candelario is 9 for 26 (.346) with four doubles, a home run, nine RBIs, five walks, and seven runs scored in his last seven games.


Phillies: Thomson said RHP Taijuan Walker played catch Friday and there are “no worries about his next start.” In a four-inning outing against the Mets on Thursday, Walker’s sinker velocity averaged 90.6 mph, down from 92.7 mph for the season. His fastball, splitter and curveball velocity also dropped.

Nationals: OF Victor Robles (back spasms) took batting practice on the field for the first time since going on the injured list. … LHP Sean Doolittle (elbow) gave up a run on two hits and struck out two batters in 2/3 of an inning working his second straight night for Class A Fredericksburg.


Phillies: LHP Matt Strahm (4-3, 3.20) will start a bullpen game on Saturday.

Nationals: LHP MacKenzie Gore (3-3, 3.57) went seven innings and struck out a career-high 11 batters in his previous outing – a no decision against the Royals.

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