Mark Reynolds Rumors
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.
After taking a quick look at the latest notes out of the AL Central, we'll do the same with the AL East:
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post tweets that the Yankees continue to be in on Scott Hairston, but it will likely take a two-year deal to lock him up, and New York would rather avoid adding 2014 salary.
- Sherman adds in a separate tweet that a Padres official insists the team isn't moving Chase Headley, so he's unlikely to be an option for the Yankees.
- Nick Swisher is drawing interest from a number of teams, including the Red Sox, but he may exercise some patience before agreeing to a deal, according to Rob Bradford of WEEI.com. Bradford hears from a source that Swisher may wait to sign until after Josh Hamilton has secured a deal. The WEEI.com scribe also reiterates that Boston's signing of Mike Napoli hasn't taken them out of the running for Swisher, as we heard earlier today.
- Discussing Alex Rodriguez's hip surgery at an afternoon press conference, Yankees GM Brian Cashman indicated that the team will "become very aggressive" if they see an opportunity to upgrade at third base that makes sense (Twitter link via MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith).
- In his latest column for FOX Sports, Jon Morosi explains why he thinks the Yankees should pursue Chase Headley, and explores what sort of return the Padres could expect for their star third baseman.
- According to Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun, Orioles GM Dan Duquette said on MLB Network Radio today that the club's decision to non-tender Mark Reynolds was made in part because the O's believed Reynolds could be in line for a salary of $12-14MM through arbitration. MLBTR was projecting a salary in the neighborhood of $8.9MM for Reynolds before he was non-tendered.
Here are the latest news and notes from the NL and AL Central divisions:
- Sources tell FOXSports.com's Jon Paul Morosi and Ken Rosenthal the Reds like Dexter Fowler and the Rockies like Homer Bailey. Now the question is whether their mutual interest crystallizes into trade discussions during the Winter Meetings.
- The Brewers are prioritizing a left-handed reliever with the available free agent possibilities including Sean Burnett, Randy Choate, Mike Gonzalez, J.P. Howell, and Tom Gorzelanny, tweets Morosi.
- Cubs officials have yet to confirm or comment on reports of their signing of Japanese closer Kyuji Fujikawa, writes Carrie Muskat of MLB.com. The Cubs, however, are willing to talk about their need for a third baseman, an outfielder, and pitching depth. Muskat adds the Cubs could re-sign third baseman Ian Stewart after non-tendering him on Friday.
- The White Sox and Phillies are the two most aggressive teams in pursuit of a third baseman, a source tells Dan Hayes of CSNChicago.com. Kevin Youkilis is the object of both team's pursuit. Hayes writes the Sox may have to move another high salary in order to afford Youkilis and floats the names of Jeff Keppinger, Mark Reynolds, and Eric Chavez as alternatives.
- The Pirates feel they are better equipped to restock their bullpen, despite the free agency of Jason Grilli and the recent trade of Chris Resop, and may be interested in turning closer Joel Hanrahan into a much needed starting pitcher, according to MLB.com's Tom Singer.
- The Twins plan to focus more on free agents than trades during the Winter Meetings, tweets Phil Mackey of 1500ESPN.com. The Twins have already dealt their best trade chip in Denard Span and plan on keeping Josh Willingham, writes Mackey in a separate piece.
The non-tender deadline passed at midnight ET last night, and more than 30 new free agents hit the open market after their teams declined to make a contract offer. Our Non-Tender Tracker has the full list.
Most non-tendered players are fringe roster guys, but a few are established big leaguers who may have seen their performance slip or battled injury. In all cases, the team didn't consider him to be worth his expected salary in the upcoming season. Here's a look at some of this year's most notable non-tenders.
- Jair Jurrjens - Still just 26, Jurrjens is one year removed from a 2.96 ERA in 152 innings. He's battled numerous injuries (including right knee surgery) and pitched so poorly earlier this year that he was sent to Triple-A. That said, the combination of age and past performance gives Jurrjens some of the highest upside on the free agent market.
- Jeff Karstens - Karstens, 30, was limited to just 90 2/3 innings this year due to shoulder and hip problems, but he's pitched to a 3.59 ERA with a 1.7 BB/9 in 253 innings since the start of last year.
- John Lannan - The Nationals didn't have a place for Lannan this year, so the 28-year-old spent most of the season in Triple-A despite a $5MM salary. The left-hander has thrown at least 180 innings in each of the last five seasons, so he adds a reliable southpaw to a free agent class surprisingly short on that type of pitcher.
- Mark Reynolds - Power is hard to find these days, and the 29-year-old Reynolds hit 37 home runs just a year ago. He dipped to .221/.335/.429 with 23 homers this year, though he did produce a .258/.374/.525 line with 20 homers in 353 plate appearances from early-May through early-September. Although his best position is first base, a power-starved team could give Reynolds a look at third base given the shallow free agent pool.
- Geovany Soto - The free agent catching market is weak, especially now that Russell Martin has signed with the Pirates, so the 29-year-old Soto could become a popular target in short order. He hit just .198/.270/.343 in 361 plate appearances this year, but a year ago he put up a respectable .228/.310/.411 line with 17 homers. Enough teams need catching help that Soto should have little trouble finding a new employer.
- Brian Wilson - It's been two years since Wilson, 30, was truly dominant. He's coming off his second Tommy John surgery and posted a 3.11 ERA in 55 innings last season while his strikeout (8.8 K/9) and walk (5.1 BB/9) rates took big hits, but teams do love to roll the dice on formerly elite closers coming off down seasons and/or injury. Hank Schulman of The San Francisco Chronicle hears Wilson was upset after being non-tendered and has told people he will not re-sign with the Giants.
- Other non-tendered players like Scott Atchison, Tom Gorzelanny, Mike Pelfrey (coming off Tommy John surgery), and Nate Schierholtz have proven useful in various roles and figure to be relatively popular targets as free agents.