Mark Reynolds Rumors

Central Notes: Twins, Reynolds, Gomes, Choo

The Twins are piecing together a "promising future," and Miguel Sano, who is hitting .362/.457/.681 for Class A+ Fort Myers, is a key part of that, argues ESPN's Buster Olney writes (Insider-only). Byron Buxton, the No. 2 overall pick in last year's draft, has also played brilliantly in the minors, hitting .331/.436/.574 for Class A Cedar Rapids. Minor-league pitchers Kyle Gibson and D.J. Baxendale have performed well, too. Olney cites Peter Gammons' comparison of the Twins to the 2007-2008 Texas Rangers, who were about to emerge as an AL powerhouse. Here are more notes from the Central divisions.

  • Mark Reynolds, who is batting .263/.353/.564 this season, could be hitting his way out of the Indians' price range for 2014, Sheldon Ocker of the Akron Beacon Journal writes. If Reynolds keeps hitting, the only way he'll still be in Cleveland in 2014 is if the Indians sign him to a contract extension before he hits free agency. Ocker also suggests that the Indians should sign Michael Brantley and Jason Kipnis to multi-year deals.
  • Yan Gomes' play makes the offseason trade that brought Gomes and Mike Aviles to the Indians for Esmil Rogers look like "a steal," MLB.com's Jordan Bastian writes (on Twitter). Gomes has hit .273/.283/.545 for the Indians this season, and Aviles has also been productive. Rogers' meanwhile, has struggled out of the Blue Jays' bullpen. 
  • The Reds would like to keep Shin-Soo Choo beyond this season, Ken Rosenthal says in a video at FOXSports.com. Choo has hit .314/.462/.569 this year, however, and Rosenthal notes that the thought of shopping a hot-hitting outfielder on the free agent market this winter must be tempting to Scott Boras, who represents Choo.

AL Central Links: Reynolds, Asdrubal, ChiSox, Twins

Justin Verlander and Yu Darvish face off in a marquee pitching matchup tonight in Arlington when the Tigers play the Rangers in a battle of AL division leaders.  Detroit could lose the AL Central lead with a loss, as the idle Indians are only a half-game out of first place.

Here's the latest from around the AL Central…

  • There hasn't yet been any talk of the Indians pursuing an extension with Mark Reynolds, MLB.com's Jordan Bastian writes in a reader mailbag.  Reynolds signed a one-year, $6MM contract with the Tribe in December and is enjoying a big season, hitting .271/.362/.581 and sitting tied for American League home run lead with 11 long balls.  Bastian suggests that Reynolds is likely to test the free agent market in order to capitalize on his comeback year.  Reynolds recently cracked Tim Dierkes' 2014 free agent power rankings, clocking in at the #9 position.
  • Also from Bastian, Francisco Lindor has been on fire in Class A ball but the Indians shortstop prospect isn't expected to be in the Major Leagues until next season at the absolute earliest.  In order words, Asdrubal Cabrera is unlikely to be on the trade block anytime soon.  Though Cabrera is off to a slow start, it makes little sense for Cleveland to move one of their key regulars if they're in a pennant race.
  • If the White Sox become sellers before the trade deadline, Dan Hayes of CSN Chicago thinks Chris Sale might be the only untouchable player on the roster.  Even Jake Peavy, who signed a two-year extension (albeit without a no-trade clause) with Chicago last October, could potentially be dealt for a big haul of prospects.
  • Twins minor league outfielder Joe Benson is in danger of losing his 40-man roster spot, 1500 ESPN Twin Cities Phil Mackey speculates.  Benson was ranked by Baseball America as the 99th-best prospect in the sport prior to the 2012 season, but the 25-year-old has struggled badly since. 
  • From earlier today on MLBTR, we heard that the Tigers were looking for relief pitching.

AL Notes: Angels, Reynolds, Lewis

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.


Indians Sign Mark Reynolds

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.

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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.


Quick Hits: Bourn, Swisher, Red Sox, Alvarez, Diaz

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…


Indians Close To Signing Mark Reynolds

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.


Yankees, Indians Met With Mark Reynolds’ Agent

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.


AL Central Rumors: Sox, Royals, Indians, Tigers

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.

Market For Mark Reynolds

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 Notes: Saunders, McLouth, Correia, Schierholtz

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.