The Rockies have officially selected the contract of first baseman Mark Reynolds, as per a team announcement. In a corresponding move to create roster space, Chad Bettis has been placed on the 60-day DL as the right-hander continues his battle with testicular cancer.
Reynolds rejoined the Rockies on a minor league deal in February that guaranteed him a $1.5MM for making the MLB roster. The veteran slugger will have another $2MM more available to him through incentives.
With Ian Desmond sidelined for much of April due to a fracture in his left hand, the path was clear for Reynolds to win a spot as Colorado’s regular first baseman. Rookies Stephen Cardullo and Jordan Patterson are locked in an interesting battle over the backup first base job. Cardullo has been one of the Rockies’ best hitters in camp, though the club would have to create a 40-man roster space for him; Patterson is already on the 40-man and is a left-handed hitter, better complementing the righty-swinging Reynolds.
Reynolds hit .282/.356/.450 with 14 homers over 441 plate appearances for the Rockies last season, a good performance on paper that was aided by both a .361 BABIP and hitter-friendly Coors Field. Reynolds had been decidedly less productive over the previous three seasons, hitting .216/.303/.395 over 1369 PA with the Cardinals, Brewers, Yankees, and Indians. Still, if Reynolds has been somewhat revived by playing in the thin air, he provides an inexpensive veteran bat and pretty solid glovework as Desmond’s temporary replacement.