MLB rumors: Yankees eyeing Bryan Reynolds, but Pirates’ ask still ‘unrealistic’; Padres sign ex-top prospect

Spring training is less than six weeks away and only five of our top 50 free agents remain unsigned. That means the trade market should pick up soon as teams look to round out their rosters. With that in mind, here are Friday’s hot stove rumours.

The Yankees remain interested in Reynolds

The Yankees remain among the teams with consistent interest in Pirates outfielder Bryan Reynolds, reports the New York Post. The asking price is said to be “unrealistic,” however. The Yankees have a glaring need in left field and have remained an obvious fit for Reynolds, a switch-hitter with all-around ability and three years of team control remaining.

Reynolds, 28 later this month, requested a trade earlier this offseason, although the Pirates are under no obligation to trade him. He has been an in-demand trade target for several years now and Pittsburgh has maintained a high asking price throughout. At this point it feels like the Yankees (and other teams) are simply waiting until that asking price drops. New York’s in-house left field options are Aaron Hicks and super utility man Oswaldo Cabrera.

Rangers still seeking a left fielder

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After spending big to improve the rotation, the Rangers continue to seek a left fielder, according to The Athletic. They have interest in the aforementioned Reynolds, and free agents such as AJ Pollock and David Peralta are possibilities as well. Last season the Rangers received a ghastly .186/.253/.256 line from their left fielders. It shouldn’t be difficult to improve upon that.

Texas has used 20 different players in left field the last two seasons, the third most in baseball, and utility man Josh Smith is currently penciled in as their starting left fielder. The Rangers could also use a DH to improve a bottom of the lineup that is lacking. The Rangers have done good work strengthening the rotation. Now they need to upgrade an offense that ranked 18th in adjusted OPS in 2022.

Padres sign OF Engel

The Padres have agreed to terms with free agent outfielder Adam Engel, the club announced Friday. Engel previously spent all six years of his big-league career with the White Sox, mostly serving as a fourth-outfield type, although the majority of his time has been spent in center. He generally rates out as a good defender, too.

With the bat, Engel is a career .225/.280/.350 (72 OPS+) hitter in 1,540 plate appearances. He’s 47 of 64 in his career on stolen base attempts and was 12 of 16 last season.

Padres ink former top prospect

The Padres have agreed to terms on a major-league deal with right-handed pitcher Brent Honeywell, the team announced Friday. Honeywell was a second-round pick in the 2014 draft and worked his way up the vaunted Rays’ farm system to the point where he was a consensus top-15 prospect in all of baseball prior to the 2018 season. He was the MVP of the 2017 Futures Game (second subhead here) while showcasing his signature screwball.

Unfortunately, Honeywell tore the UCL in his right elbow in the spring of 2018 and had Tommy John surgery. He had another procedure in 2020 and has only managed three MLB appearances (8.31 ERA in 2021). He struggled in the minors in the A’s system last season, although he’s thrown well in the Dominican Winter League. He’s 27 years old, so there’s still time to get things figured out.

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