FEBRUARY 14: Reynolds would earn $1.5MM if he makes the roster, and can add up to $2MM via incentives, per Heyman (via Twitter).
FEBRUARY 1, 7:50pm: Colorado has announced the deal, noting that it unsurprisingly includes an invitation to MLB camp.
7:05pm: The Rockies have agreed to a minor-league deal with first baseman Mark Reynolds, according to Jon Heyman of Fan Rag. His potential salary and opt-out opportunities remain unreported at this time.
Perhaps it shouldn’t come as a surprise, at this stage at least, that Reynolds couldn’t find a 40-man spot. There just wasn’t enough demand to account for all of the available power-hitting, first base/DH types that were on the market. Righty sluggers Mike Napoli and Chris Carter remain unsigned, as do a variety of lefty bats.
That said, Reynolds has also put together a string of relatively disappointing seasons. He hit at an approximately league-average rate in his 441 plate appearances for Colorado — the .282/.356/.450 batting line was obviously influenced by the altitude — but launched only 14 long balls and didn’t quite capitalize on his opportunity at regular playing time. It was an improvement, at least, over the prior two seasons, when Reynolds combined for a .213/.301/.396 slash over 865 plate appearances with the Cardinals and Brewers.
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For the Rockies, the low-risk addition creates some interesting possibilities. When a southpaw takes the hill, the club can now utilize Reynolds at first while bumping Ian Desmond into the outfield in place of one of the team’s many lefty-swinging outfielders. (It should be noted, though, that Reynolds carries minimal lifetime platoon splits and actually struggled against southpaws last year.)
Of course, Reynolds will need to make the roster first. Though he’s no longer the prolific home run hitter he once was, Reynolds still packs some punch. And he does typically draw solid defensive ratings for his glovework at first base. But he also offers nothing in the way of defensive versatility, meaning that the organization may have to decide between carrying a bench bat or an extra reliever as camp draws to a close.