When the Colorado Rockies hosted the 2021 All-Star Game in club history, it was the second in club history and first in 23 years.

Running out to center field at Coors Field in the top of the first and batting eighth for the National League was Bryan Reynolds of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

There’s a chance that scene could be revisited 81 times next year.

Following failed negotiations on a contract extension between the club and player, Reynolds requested to be traded out of Pittsburgh.

A spokesman with the team issued a statement that his request will be denied and that the 27-year-old will be a contributing member of the 2023 Pirates. Well, how else should they respond when their leverage is taken away?

Rockies have long been rumored to be in the market to upgrade in center. A deal with Pittsburgh makes sense given Reynolds plays center field, provides power and can hit from both sides of the plate.

Pulling off a trade of this magnitude wouldn’t be impossible for Colorado, but could they actually do it? Should they? And, more importantly, will they?

Could They Acquire Reynolds?

Reynolds was originally acquired by the Pirates when they traded Andrew McCutchen to the San Francisco Giants in January of 2018.

He finished fourth in NL Rookie of the Year Award voting in 2019 after batting .314 with 16 home runs and 68 RBI.

In his lone season as an All-Star in 2021, he appeared on 14 of 30 ballots and finished 11th in NL MVP voting. It was his first healthy full-season starting on the Opening Day roster. It was also similar production at the plate – .302 batting average with 24 home runs and 90 RBI – as McCutchen for an age-26 season.

The Vanderbilt product took a step back in 2022, but still managed to hit a career-high 27 homers despite missing much of July on the 10-day IL for an oblique strain and a stint on the paternity list.

Defensively, questions persist. Fielding Bible had him at -14 defensive runs saved while Statcast’s Outs Above Average had him at -7, worst among all qualified center fielders in both defensive metrics.  

A move to one of the corners appears to be in his future for his next club, whenever he might change uniforms. 

With three years left of club control, Reynolds allows for a team to not only upgrade their offense in the outfield, but have certainty of his services through the 2025 season.

Should They Acquire Reynolds?

This is the hardest question to answer as a cornucopia of options remain available for the Rockies.

Would Colorado be better if Reynolds were on the roster. Absolutely.

Does Pittsburgh want to be fairly compensated to part with a player the typically cash-strapped club were willing to pay more than $70 million in an undisclosed extension length? Absolutely.

Reynolds was acquired for a star outfielder and has become a star himself, albeit of a much lower magnitude than the man known as Cutch, who was a five-time All-Star selection, four-time Silver Slugger Award winner, one time Gold Glove Award winner and one-time MVP.

If we were to use a tool such as Baseball Trade Values, which has created a database of estimating trade values and uses a model to balance whether a proposed deal is fair for both teams, there’s virtually no way to reasonably acquire Reynolds.

Correction: the one way to convince Pittsburgh to deal their player to Colorado is to part with either Ezequiel Tovar, Zac Veen or Drew Romo.

Any conversation between GM Bill Schmidt and Pirates’ GM Ben Cherington would need to start with one of the Rockies’ top prospects. Then, even more would need to travel to western Pennsylvania to make a trade work.

Will They Acquire Reynolds?

It appears Colorado’s best roster is still two or three years away when the likes of Tovar, Veen and Romo are making an impact at Coors Field alongside big leaguers like Kris Bryant, Brendan Rodgers and Ryan McMahon.

If the front office really feels the team is much closer to building a contender in the NL West, then the acquisition of Reynolds could expedite that process and possibly end their postseason drought.

Bottom line: it is less than likely Schmidt parts ways with his farm system’s bumper crop.

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