Pittsburgh Pirates star Bryan Reynolds would vastly prefer to play for any franchise other than the Pittsburgh Pirates when the 2023 season begins in earnest.
Currently standing in the way of that goal? The very same Pittsburgh Pirates!
Reynolds took the nearly unprecedented step of demanding a trade this offseason, but took a page out of Kevin Durant's book after he was met with inaction, slinking back to the sidelines and hoping for the best.
The Buccos' current ask in return is understandably large; after all, Reynolds is their one remaining shot at receiving a franchise-changing prospect package. They're going to exhaust all negotiating avenues before acquiescing to the reality of the market.
That said ... the bridge is already burned. Per Heyman's sources, Reynolds sought a Matt Olson-type extension in Pittsburgh (eight years, $168 million), while the Pirates countered with six years and $75 million, which is about two years' worth of Aaron Judge's deal. For a player already disillusioned with his surroundings, that was, uh, not going to get it done.
How much longer are the Dodgers really going to have to wait here before the Pirates decide they're open for business?
Dodgers have strongest Bryan Reynolds trade offer whenever the Pirates are ready
If the rumors are true and the Pirates really do seek high-end pitching, then none of the rumored teams chasing after Reynolds can compete with the Dodgers.
Even if LA stays relatively stingy and keeps Bobby Miller off the table, Gavin Stone and Ryan Pepiot would make great centerpieces.
For now, this appears to be a waiting game, where Pittsburgh would rather be overwhelmed by a "Miller plus" package, whereas the Dodgers have no desire to jump the line and outbid the Yankees, Mariners and Co. by a country mile if no one's really competing at the moment.
The Athletic's Rob Biertempfel responded positively to a fan-pitched package of Miller, Jose Ramos and Maddux Bruns this past week. Ramos, an outfielder, is MLB Pipeline's eighth-ranked Dodgers prospect, while Bruns (2021's first-round pick) checks in at 14th.
On the surface, that seems like a fair trade , while simultaneously being below Pittsburgh's ask and uncomfortably high for the Dodgers, who are well aware that this is just a waiting game.
In other words, the clock is ticking, but only in one front office.