Did the possibility of the Los Angeles Dodgers landing Bryan Reynolds just become a realistic one? We were quick to shoot that down last week, but the hot stove can turn on a dime in just a few days, and that's seemingly exactly what happened.
Well, somewhat. The Dodgers, per the latest hypothetical deal, would still have to part with one of their most prized prospects. But if they're willing to bite the bullet on one, they'll get three cost-controlled years of Reynolds, who is an All-Star-caliber player.
The reason fans are taking the latest iteration of the Reynolds-Dodgers buzz seriously is because it's come straight from Pittsburgh Pirates insider Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic (subscription required).
Whether the Dodgers and their fans like it or not, the name of the game here is surrendering promising pitching prospects for Reynolds, because that's what the Pirates want. If there's no desire to do that, then feel free to stop reading right about now.
Anyway, Biertempfel proposed a three-for-one swap with top prospects Bobby Miller (pitcher), Jose Ramos (outfielder) and Maddux Bruns (pitcher) headed to Pittsburgh in exchange for three full seasons of Reynolds.
How does this Dodgers-Pirates Bryan Reynolds trade package sound?
Previous trade packages we've seen concerning a Reynolds trade either featured disgusting overpays or unrealistic underpays. This proposal from Biertempfel hits right in the middle, which is why it holds more weight than anything that's been reported thus far.
The reality is that any team vying for Reynolds will be parting with a top-three prospect (plus others), two top-five prospects (plus one more), or three top-10 prospects. There's no escaping these talks unscathed. Value will need to be surrendered.
So, while Miller feels like a monumental loss, jettisoning Ramos and Bruns seem like worthless add-ons. The Dodgers opted not to protect Ramos from the Rule 5 Draft this offseason and no other team selected him. How valuable could he be? As for Bruns, though he possesses promise as a 20-year-old, the left-hander has a 6.75 ERA and 1.95 WHIP in 25 starts in the Dodgers' minor-league system.
Throw in the fact that fellow outfielders Miguel Vargas (?), Michael Busch, Andy Pages and James Outman out-rank Ramos while fellow pitchers Ryan Pepiot, Gavin Stone, Landon Knack and Nick Nastrini out-rank Bruns, and it's even less of a risk for the Dodgers to pull the trigger here.
It'd be hard to argue with Andrew Friedman's decision making if this is the exact deal (or something similar) is agreed upon to bring Reynolds to LA. The Dodgers have a surplus of talent of they'd be foolish not to cash in on when there are plenty of others ready to usher in a new era of baseball come 2023.
If this package gets you to the top name on the trade market, it should be signed off on without hesitation.
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