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Pitchers and catchers have reported to spring training, and other players are also showing up at camps in Arizona and Florida. That, in turn, means conversations with reporters, and that, in turn, means questions about contract statuses. From all that flows Wednesday's supply of MLB rumors. 

Reynolds mum on status with Pirates

Bryan Reynolds
PIT • CF • #10
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Pittsburgh Pirates center fielder Bryan Reynolds, a 2021 All-Star, created a stir earlier this offseason when he requested a trade away from the rebuilding and barely trying Corsairs. The Pirates reportedly shopped Reynolds around, but the ask for the 28-year-old was indeed high. So far no trade has come to pass, and it seems likely that the status quo will remain in place leading up to the start of the 2023 season. Reynolds on Wednesday addressed his uncertain status with the club that drafted him out of Vanderbilt in 2016: 

Reynolds isn't eligible for free agency until after the 2025 season, so there's no real urgency for the Pirates to trade him or, less likely, sign him to a long-term extension. That said, don't be surprised if Reynolds' name is a hot one leading up to the 2023 trade deadline. 

Trout wants Ohtani to stay in Anaheim

Los Angeles Angels two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani is entering his walk year, and his status is one of the biggest stories in MLB. The Angels don't seem inclined to trade him, although that thinking could perhaps change if they struggle badly in the first half. The Halos of course have the resources to sign Ohtani to an extension, but will Ohtani forgo free agency to remain with a team that hasn't been relevant in years? That's the great unknown. 

As for fellow Angels superstar Mike Trout, he's under contract through the 2030 season, and he of course wants Ohtani around for that particularly lengthy ride. To hear Trout tell it, he'll muster his powers of influence to the end of getting Ohtani to commit to the Angels beyond 2023: 

The strength of any offer will be the leading factor, of course, and how the Angels fare in 2023 may also play a role. Ohtani has cited a desire to win, but the Angels haven't made the postseason since 2014 and haven't won a playoff game since 2009. A reversal of those fortunes in the season to come would perhaps persuade Ohtani to be more open to remaining with the Angels. Trout, for one, would very much like that. 

Several teams scout Britton

Veteran lefty reliever and former lockdown closer Zack Britton, 35, returned from Tommy John surgery late last season for the Yankees but then ran into shoulder problems. A free agent now, Britton remains unsigned, but he recently took the mound to audition for interested parties. Speaking of which, Ken Rosenthal reports that the Mets, Dodgers, Cubs, Rangers, Giants, and Angels were on hand to have a look at Britton's current wares. 

Britton, who boasts a career ERA+ of 135 to go with a pair of All-Star selections, pitched at a high level as recently as 2019. If he's recovered form his recent arm woes, then he could be a very sensible low-risk addition to some team's bullpen.

More extension talk/non-talk

Since contract hypotheticals are the talk of the day, here's a quick rundown of other notables: 

  • Mets slugging 1B Pete Alonso, who's slated for free agency after the 2024 season, says he enjoys being a Met and playing in New York but declined to address anything related to a long-term contract
  • The agent for Astros lefty Framber Valdez, who's coming off a 2022 season in which he finished fifth in the AL Cy Young vote, denies reports that he's had discussions with the team about a long-term deal for his client.
  • On the managerial front, Bud Black announced that he's signed an extension that will keep in the Colorado Rockies' dugout through the 2024 season. In six seasons with the Rockies, Black, 65, has guided them to a 417-453 record and two playoff appearances.

Royals add Reyes on minor-league deal

The Royals have signed designated hitter Franmil Reyes to a minor-league contract, the club announced Wednesday. 

Reyes hit 37 home runs in 2019 and 30 in 2021 and carried a 121 career OPS+ into the 2022 season. During last season, however, he was designated for assignment by the eventual AL Central-champion Guardians. He joined the Cubs after that and put up a combined .221/.273/.365 (81 OPS+) for the year with 14 home runs and 157 strikeouts in 473 plate appearances. 

He's still only 27 years old and has shown prodigious power at the big-league level, so a minor-league deal is a nice flier to take from K.C.'s perspective.