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Mark Reynolds Rumors
Here are a few notes from the American League …
- Angels GM Jerry Dipoto tells Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com that his squad is simply "not good right now." He notes that, with so much going wrong, "it's awfully hard to look at one area or one person and say, that's the cure." After investing huge money in Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton, the club was only able to afford a pitching corps that sits near the bottom of the league in all of the major, comprehensive pitching statistics. And, of course, neither Pujols nor Hamilton has performed as expected. The team admittedly entered the year "thin after the 25-man team and the 12-man staff," according to Dipoto, and that lack of depth was tested so much that the team was forced "to start drilling for oil." Now, in a comment that Heyman describes as being "perhaps ominous," Dipoto says that the team is left waiting to see what happens as players come back from the DL: "As we get healthy, we'll have a better chance to assess where we are."
- So far, the best free agent signing of 2013 has been the unexpected Mark Reynolds, tweets Scott Merkin of MLB.com. Indeed, Reynolds is tearing the cover off of the ball for the Indians. After tonight's game, he sports a .291/.367/.645 slash with eleven home runs, which he has accomplished in part by lowering his strikeout rate to a level (25.0%) that is well below his career average (32.3%). Whether or not he keeps up this pace, he appears very likely to substantially outperform his one-year, $6MM deal. Certainly, the Orioles are likely regretting the decision to non-tender Reynolds, who would be an unquestioned upgrade at the club's disastrous DH spot.
- Pitcher Colby Lewis of the Rangers, a prospective 2014 free agent, began his rehab assignment this evening with a two-inning appearance in Triple-A. According to Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram (via Twitter), Lewis stretched his 45-pitch limit over just two innings as he labored through a 32-pitch second and ultimately let in three runs. As MLBTR's Steve Adams recently explained, Lewis could earn himself a multi-year contract if he shows teams that his past durability can be counted on once more going forward. In an injury-shortened 2012, the 32-year-old Lewis put up a 3.43 ERA over 105 innings and registered 8.0 K/9 against just 1.2 BB/9.
The Indians announced that they have signed Mark Reynolds to a one-year contract. The deal is worth $6MM, according to Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com (via Twitter). Reynolds could earn as much as $7.5MM if he reaches certain performance bonuses. With Reynolds manning first base, the Indians will turn to Lonnie Chisenhall as their starter at the hot corner.
Reynolds started the 2012 season slowly, but hit 15 home runs after August 1st, finishing with 23 homers and a .221/.335/.429 batting line. The 29-year-old struck out 159 times, but didn't lead the league in strikeouts for the first time since 2007.
The Orioles paid Reynolds a $500K buyout instead of exercising his $11MM option following the regular season. He remained under team control as an arbitration eligible player with a projected salary of $8.9MM, but the Orioles elected to non-tender him.
Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com first reported that a deal was imminent (on Twitter). Mike Axisa and Ben Nicholson-Smith contributed to this post. Photo courtesy of Kim Klement/US Presswire.
It's been another major day of hot stove news, headlined by Josh Hamilton's deal with the Angels and Anibal Sanchez's forthcoming choice between the Cubs and Tigers. Here are some final items as we hit Friday…
- Michael Bourn's market has become hard to determine, though MLB.com's Richard Justice notes that the Hamilton, Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols signings have taught us that top free agents tend to get their paydays, sometimes with surprising teams.
- Nick Swisher has never seen the Red Sox "as a likely landing spot," reports Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe (Twitter link). Boston is one of several teams — including the Phillies, Orioles, Indians, Rangers and Mariners — linked to the free agent slugger this winter.
- Cuban players Dariel Alvarez and shortstop Aledmys Diaz are both officially free agents, tweets Jorge Ebro of El Nuevo Herald. Alvarez, a 24-year-old outfielder, and 22-year-old shortstop Diaz were profiled by MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez last month.
- MLB.com's Brittany Ghiroli breaks down the contract details of the arbitration-avoiding deals signed by Taylor Teagarden, Alexi Casilla and Steve Pearce with the Orioles, plus the details of Mark Reynolds' one-year contract with the Indians.
- The Diamondbacks are more likely to trade Jason Kubel than Justin Upton at this point, opines MLB.com's Steve Gilbert (Twitter link).
- The Rangers may have lost Hamilton today but a rival executive tells Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (Twitter link) that the Rangers could potentially sign Swisher, A.J. Pierzynski and Adam LaRoche to upgrade their lineup.
- Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports looks at how the Phillies and Red Sox are planning to rebound in 2013.
The Indians appear to be close to signing infielder Mark Reynolds, reports Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (via Twitter). There is still ground to cover, but Cleveland is out in front for the power-hitting veteran's services. Heyman believes the former Orioles first baseman will continue at that position with the Indians.
The Yankees met with the agent for free agent corner infielder Mark Reynolds today, tweets MLB.com's Bryan Hoch. Hoch says Reynolds is aiming for a salary similar to the $7.5MM he made in 2012. The Indians also met with Reynolds' agent, tweets MLB.com's Jordan Bastian.
As we learned yesterday, Reynolds appears to be pretty popular in free agency. The Yankees are not a perfect fit, as Reynolds is better-regarded as a first baseman.
The White Sox added a third baseman today, signing Jeff Keppinger to a three-year deal worth about $12MM. Having taken care of the hot corner, the Sox have now moved on and are eyeing the trade market in hopes of making a splash, tweets Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com. Here are a few other updates from out of the AL Central:
- Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star hears from multiple Royals sources that things are quiet on the trade front for the team, though that could change (Twitter link).
- The Indians are looking at Kevin Youkilis and Mark Reynolds as potential first base options, according to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer (Twitter link).
- The Tigers are in a holding pattern at the moment as they wait to see if Anibal Sanchez's asking price drops, tweets Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com. Detroit isn't optimistic that will happen.
First baseman Mark Reynolds has a nice market, tweets Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, including the Cubs, Yankees, Indians, Marlins, Mariners, Orioles, Rays, and more. The Mets were previously linked to Reynolds.
The Orioles have not met with Reynolds' agent since he was non-tendered, however, executive VP of baseball operations Dan Duquette told reporters today. The Marlins have not met with Reynolds' agent yet either, tweets Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
Orioles manager Buck Showalter addressed reporters and appeared on MLB Network Radio today to discuss a few O's-related subjects. Let's round up all things Orioles, courtesy of Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun, Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com, MLB.com's Brittany Ghiroli, and Jim Bowden of ESPN.com and SiriusXM (all links go to Twitter)….
- Orioles VP of baseball operations Dan Duquette told reporters he hopes to come home with a signed player by the end of the week.
- The Orioles met with Joe Saunders' reps today and had preliminary talks, tweets Connolly.
- The Orioles have interest in free agents Kevin Correia and Nate Schierholtz, and have had meetings with their agents in Nashville, tweets Connolly.
- Showalter spoke to free agent outfielder Nate McLouth earlier today, and GM Dan Duquette is expected to meet with McLouth's agent tonight. McLouth is looking for only a one-year deal, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, so he can re-establish his value and return to the market.
- The Orioles haven't given up on the idea of re-signing Mark Reynolds, who the club non-tendered last week.
- The O's are also hoping to re-sign Omar Quintanilla, another non-tender.
- If other clubs don't value Baltimore's young players as much as the O's do, the club won't make a trade just for the sake of making one, says Showalter.
- Baltimore's payroll will be between $90MM and $100MM next season.
- According to Showalter, MLB's managers were asked whether they were in favor of expanding instant replay, and 29 of 30 voted yes.
We rounded up one set of free agent rumors earlier in the day, but as we approach late afternoon in Nashville, it's about time for a fresh batch….
- Recently non-tendered third baseman Jack Hannahan has a big league offer from an AL Central team, tweets Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. It could be the Twins, who met with his rep yesterday according to Phil Mackey of ESPN 1500.
- The Mariners contacted Raul Ibanez's agent, tweets Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times.
- Shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima seeks a three-year deal, tweets Yahoo's Jeff Passan, but teams are hesitant.
- Takashi Saito, who turns 43 in February, would like to pitch another year in the U.S., tweets Yahoo's Tim Brown.
- The Mets have considered the idea of signing Mark Reynolds to play in the outfield, but his price tag may be too high for their liking, tweets Ken Davidoff of the New York Post.
- Davidoff also tweets that the Yankees have met with Eric Chavez's agent at the Winter Meetings and expressed an interest in bringing back Chavez.
- Brewers manager Ron Roenicke tells Jim Bowden on MLB Network Radio that the Brewers have "definite interest" in Jason Grilli, but only at a reasonable price (Twitter link). Milwaukee continues to seek both starters and relievers, but doesn't have the money to make a play for someone like Anibal Sanchez or Kyle Lohse, says Scott Miller of CBSSports.com (via Twitter).
- Jeremy Bonderman, who is attempting a comeback, could have a deal in place by the weekend, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (via Twitter).
The Marlins are among the teams that are showing interest in Mark Reynolds, tweets Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. The Orioles non-tendered the slugger last week after previously declining his $11MM option in favor of a $500K buyout.
The 29-year-old Reynolds batted .221/.335/.429 with 23 long balls for the Orioles this year in a roller coaster season. Reynolds had just a .681 OPS on Aug. 5 before exploding to bat .284/.399/.610 with 13 of his 23 homers over the next 40 games. He then slumped to finish the season, collecting just six hits in his final 48 trips to the plate.
As Heyman points out, Reynolds would be a better bat to place behind Giancarlo Stanton than Yunel Escobar, whom the club is attempting to trade. The team has been said to be looking for a power hitter to complement Stanton in the lineup. Reynolds would certainly fit that description, though his poor defense makes him a questionable fit for NL clubs like Miami.