Mark Reynolds Rumors
- The Blue Jays are "leaning toward" hiring a manager with Major League experience, reports FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal. This would seem to make Jim Riggleman and Don Wakamatsu the favorites among the known contenders, as ex-managers Jim Tracy and Manny Acta reportedly aren't under consideration and candidates such as Sandy Alomar, Tim Wallach and DeMarlo Hale have never managed in the bigs. Rosenthal notes that the Jays could still hire a non-experienced manager if "they are unimpressed by the more seasoned options."
- Darren Oliver is "not sure at all and he's in no rush to make a decision" about playing in 2013, Oliver's agent Jeff Frye tells Sportnet.ca's Shi Davidi. The veteran reliever has hinted about retiring, though the Blue Jays exercised their $3MM option on Oliver yesterday to retain Oliver's rights in case the southpaw does return.
- The Orioles declined Mark Reynolds' $11MM option yesterday, though CSNBaltimore.com's Rich Dubroff thinks the two sides will eventually agree to a new two-year deal for Reynolds given the Orioles' lack of depth at first base.
- The Orioles have selected the contract of right-hander Zach Clark and added him to the 40-man roster, according to a team press release. The 29-year-old Clark has a 3.68 ERA in 171 career minor league games (116 of them starts), including a combined 2.79 ERA in 167 2/3 innings at Double-A and Triple-A last season.
- Red Sox GM Ben Cherington said during an appearance on WEEI Radio's Red Sox Hot Stove Show today that the team would like to add a new pitcher to the rotation without dealing any of their own pitching prospects. The Sox have several internal options for the bullpen but Cherington "would not rule out" adding a new reliever as well. (Both links are via the Twitter account of WEEI.com's Alex Speier.)
- The Red Sox should pursue Nick Swisher, Ryan Madson and Mike Napoli this winter, as well as an innings-eating starting pitcher on a short-term contract suggests Tony Massarotti of the Boston Globe as part of his five proposals to upgrade the Sox on the free agent market.
Executive VP of baseball operations Andrew Friedman says the Rays can afford to keep both James Shields and David Price on next year's roster, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports (Twitter link). As I explained this morning, it could be tempting for the Rays to address other needs by trading a frontline starter. For example, the Dodgers are among the teams that could try to obtain Shields from Tampa Bay. Here are today’s links...
- Mark Reynolds would like to play for the Orioles next year, but he’ll explore his options if he hits the open market, Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com reports. "If they non-tender me it wouldn't be very smart of me to not see what else is out there," Reynolds said. The Orioles declined their club option for Reynolds today, and they now have a month to determine whether to tender him a contract through the arbitration process.
- GM Chris Antonetti suggested there's a slim chance the Indians will re-sign Roberto Hernandez this offseason, MLB.com's Jordan Bastian reports (Twitter links). The chances of re-signing Travis Hafner seem more remote, Bastian writes. The Indians, who declined club options for Hernandez and Hafner earlier today, are not working with a set payroll, according to the GM.
- All Bases Covered Sports now represents free agent reliever Chad Durbin, ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick reports (Twitter link). Check out MLBTR's Agency Database for current information on players and their agents.
- Earlier in the week I previewed the top offseason storylines at MLBTR. In case you missed it, there’s a parallel piece running online at USA Today and in this week’s edition of Sports Weekly.
Reynolds remains under team control via the arbitration process. The Orioles have until November 30th to decide whether to tender him a contract for 2013. If the Orioles offer Reynolds arbitration, he'd get approximately $8.9MM in the estimation of MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz.
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 impressive season ended with an ALDS Game Five loss to the Yankees yesterday, but the team improved so much that a pair of impending free agents told MLB.com's Adam Rosenbloom that they would like to return to the club next year.
"I'd definitely like to come back," said Mark Reynolds. "This is the most fun I've ever had playing baseball, this group of guys. There's a bunch of ballplayers in this room. No prima donnas, nobody for themselves. Just ballplayers who pull for each other, and who wouldn't want to be in that environment?"
The 29-year-old Reynolds hit .221/.335/.429 with 23 homers in 538 plate appearances this year, making the transition from third base over to first base full-time. The club holds an $11MM option for his services next year, but even if they decline it they would still control his rights as an arbitration-eligible player. Baltimore could turn down the option and try to re-sign him at a lower salary without having to worry about a bidding war on the open market.
Nate McLouth, 30, also indicated a willingness to return to the Orioles next season, telling Rosenbloom that he "couldn't have had a better time in the time" with the team. He signed a minor league contract with Baltimore at midseason before taking over their left field and leadoff hitter jobs full-time in the second half. McLouth was their best hitter in the ALDS and produced a .268/.342/.435 batting line 236 regular season plate appearances with the team.
With Nick Markakis and Nolan Reimold expected to be healthy in time for next season, plus 33-homer guy Chris Davis' ability to play first base or right field, the Orioles may not have spots for Reynolds and/or McLouth next year. McLouth in particular figures to look to parlay his strong finish into a full-time job somewhere.
Wade Boggs reached the 200-hit plateau for the seventh consecutive season on this date in 1989. Boggs also became the first player in MLB history to collect both 200 hits and 100 walks in four consecutive seasons. Here are some links from the division in which Boggs spent his entire 18-year career...
- Manny Machado jumped from Double-A to the pennant race, but Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette said the infielder “looks like a big leaguer,” Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com reports. Duquette indicated the Orioles are set at third base for 2013, saying Machado "looks pretty good to me."
- The Orioles “have interest” in retaining Mark Reynolds for 2013, Duquette said. If the Orioles decline Reynolds’ $11MMM option for 2013, they’ll have to determine whether to tender him a contract through the arbitration process. "We'll see how that shakes out," Duquette said.
- David Ortiz said his upcoming contract negotiations with the Red Sox are about respect, not just money, Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald reports. The designated hitter said a two-year deal would help him keep his focus on the field. "I think it’s easier for me not to be answering the questions you’re asking me right now the whole year," he said.
- Shi Davidi details Travis Snider's tenure in Toronto, including his clashes with former manager Cito Gaston, in a revealing feature at Sportsnet.ca. Within the piece Davidi reports that Snider once turned down a contract extension from the Blue Jays. The Blue Jays traded Snider to Pittsburgh for Brad Lincoln leading up to the July 31st trade deadline.
The Rays' chances of making the playoffs are slim at 4.4%, but the Yankees and Orioles are on track to secure postseason berths, according to the playoff odds report at Baseball Prospectus. Here are some afternoon links from the AL East...
- The Blue Jays had two scouts at the Tigers-Athletics series in Detroit this week, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports reports. The Blue Jays could have interest in trading for A's left-hander Brett Anderson, who left yesterday’s game with a strained oblique, or signing Tigers right-hander Anibal Sanchez. Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos is expected to seek starting pitching this coming offseason.
- It wasn’t long ago that Mark Reynolds’ 2013 option ($11MM with a $500K buyout) seemed unreasonable from the Orioles’ perspective. Now that Reynolds is producing at the plate, it’s at least worth debating, Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com writes. The Orioles appear to want Reynolds back for 2013, which wasn’t the case for the first few months of the season.
- On the other side of the infield, Manny Machado is making a solid case for entering the 2013 season as Baltimore’s starting third baseman, according to Kubatko.
- Homegrown starters Phil Hughes, David Phelps, and Ivan Nova have helped the Yankees immensely at a time that the team's veteran starters are struggling, Mike Axisa writes at River Ave. Blues. The Yankees get criticized for not developing enough pitching, but Hughes, Phelps and Nova have pitched well of late.
- For more notes from the AL East, check out this post from earlier today.
Four years ago, Mark Reynolds appeared to be on his way towards establishing himself as one of the very best power hitters in the game by slugging 44 homers for the 2009 Diamondbacks. That effort earned him a three-year, $14.5MM contract the following Spring Training despite his record-setting 223 strikeouts. A 25-year-old third baseman with that kind of power is worth locking up.
Reynolds, now 29, has since been traded to the Orioles because new D'Backs GM Kevin Towers made an effort to cut down on his offense's swings and misses. He can still hit for power (37 homers just last season), but his performance has otherwise declined and coming into Saturday he was a .218/.332/.409 hitter (101 OPS+) for manager Buck Showalter this year. Reynolds' glovework has forced him across the diamond to first base on a nearly full-time basis.
This season is the final guaranteed year of that three-year pact, which covered Reynolds' final pre-arbitration season and his first two years of arbitration-eligibility. That deal includes an $11MM club option ($500K buyout) for 2013, but because he won't have six full seasons of service time, Reynolds will not be eligible for free agency should Baltimore decide to decline the option. He'll remain under team control as an arbitration-eligible player. The O's could try to sign Reynolds to a cheaper deal - he's earning $7.5MM this season, a reasonably low base salary - or cut ties all together and non-tender him.
Power, especially right-handed power, is becoming increasingly hard to find these days. Reynolds is a one-dimensional player though, someone who will hit in the low-.200s and thus keep his on-base percentage relatively low. He's led the league in strikeouts in each of the last four seasons and has shown no signs of improving his contact skills with decreased playing time this summer. The Orioles are on the cusp of contention this season and $11MM is not chump change. They could decide to bolster their chances next year by saving cash, finding a more well-rounded player, and cutting the man with the eighth-most homers since 2008 loose.
Photo courtesy of US Presswire.
The Angels are talking to the Rays about Wade Davis and other available pitchers, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. James Shields has drawn interest from Los Angeles, but Davis might represent an alternative for the Angels’ bullpen or rotation. Here are the latest notes from the AL East...
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post can’t imagine the Yankees trading for Mark Reynolds or Chone Figgins even with Alex Rodriguez on the disabled list. However, an AL executive said there’s “zero chance” Eric Chavez can replace Rodriguez on a daily basis without breaking down. The Yankees are expected to consider available third basemen in the coming week.
- The Red Sox have fielded some exploratory inquiries on Josh Beckett, but the calls amount to preliminary check-ins at this point, Rob Bradford of WEEI.com reports. There’s “nothing close” regarding a potential deal, according to Bradford. Beckett, who can veto any trade with his ten and five rights, does not interest the Rangers.
- Blue Jays shortstop Yunel Escobar remains a possible option for the A’s, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle writes. However, the shortstop says he likes playing in Toronto and doesn’t want to be traded, according to Slusser.
Joe DiMaggio hit the first of his 361 career home runs against the Athletics on this date in 1936. The present-day Yankees and C.C. Sabathia host David Price and the Rays tonight in New York. Here are some AL East-related links in the meantime...
- The Orioles signed Miguel Tejada with the idea that he might replace Mark Reynolds at third base, Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com reports. Reynolds’ bat is starting to heat up and Tejada is playing at extended Spring Training. The Orioles made Reynolds available earlier this year, but potential suitors found his $7.5MM salary to be a deterrent.
- Jeff Keppinger is back with the Rays following a brief stint on the restricted list, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports (on Twitter). The Rays had placed the infielder on the restricted list earlier in the week.
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post describes Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera as "competition junkies" who can't stay away from the game of baseball and the "camaraderie, common purpose, money and fame" that comes with Major League success. Rivera's contract will expire after the 2012 season, but he has said he intends to return, presumably with the Yankees.
- In case you missed it, the Blue Jays signed Vladimir Guerrero to a minor league deal today.
Earlier today, ESPN.com's Jayson Stark reported that MLB and the MLBPA have agreed to stop including personal services deals and milestone bonus clauses in player contracts. He offers some reaction and detail in today’s column to go along with more rumors from around the league. Here are the highlights:
- One prominent agent says the aforementioned changes more make it more difficult to add dollars to contracts without counting them against the luxury tax.
- The Nationals still want to move John Lannan, but his slow start at Triple-A (7.50 ERA in three starts) is limiting his trade value.
- The Nationals aren’t trying to trade Roger Bernadina, Stark reports. Right now Washington is thin on outfield depth, so they’re probably not in a position to trade outfielders away.
- Some teams wonder if the Angels should shop Mark Trumbo for a controllable reliever. There’s no indication the Angels are looking to trade Trumbo, but they’re “trying feverishly” to move Bobby Abreu, Stark reports.
- Scouts say the Orioles would “do anything” to trade third baseman Mark Reynolds and right-handed reliever Kevin Gregg.