3:00pm: The Reynolds and Zimmerman moves are official, and the Nationals have also moved reliever Joaquin Benoit to the 60-day DL. The right-handed Benoit, whom the Nats signed to a one-year, $1MM deal in free agency, hasn’t pitched yet this season on account of a forearm strain.
12:39pm: Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post tweets that Mark Reynolds has been spotted in the Nationals’ clubhouse, implying that the club has selected his contract and is likely to move Ryan Zimmerman to the disabled list. Indeed, Dan Kolko of MASN tweets that Reynolds is on the lineup card for today’s game while Zimmerman’s name is absent. Washington signed Reynolds to a minors deal early in April.
Despite a reasonably good .267/.352/.487 batting line with 30 homers last season, the 34-year-old Reynolds wasn’t able to attract a suitor for a major league deal this past offseason. More mysterious is the fact that Reynolds ended up signing a minors deal with the Nationals of all teams, as they already had Matt Adams and Zimmerman and haven’t got the benefit of a DH slot in the lineup.
It appears that he’ll get a big-league opportunity for now, though it’s not clear for how long. Zimmerman reportedly suffered a back injury during Wednesday’s game, and since the move is retroactive to Thursday he’ll be able to return as soon as May 20th. That would likely leave Reynolds the odd man out, considering Adams’ torrid pace.
The 33-year-old Zimmerman enjoyed a strong bounce-back season last year, posting 3.3 fWAR while crushing 36 homers in 576 plate appearances to go along with a whopping 136 wRC+. But he’s followed that up with an uninspiring .217/.280/.409 batting line to date and will now need to rest up a bit before he gets a chance to turn those numbers around.