MLB Free Agency: 3 Teams That Will Come Calling for Orioles' Mark Reynolds
Mark Reynolds can play multiple positions and hit for power, but the $11 million the Baltimore Orioles would owe him could make him trade bait or, more likely, a free agent.
Mark Reynolds finished the final guaranteed year of his three-year contract and would make $11 million next season, but the year is a club option and his $500,000 buyout means there is a good chance he will become a free agent.
Reynolds has not had an impressive season by any standards. He currently has 20 home runs and 58 RBI with a .235 batting average. The Orioles could probably find a more capable player for the money Reynolds would make.
What Reynolds does have to offer, though, is his potential to hit home runs and his ability to play multiple positions. Reynolds had hit over 30 home runs each of the last three seasons, and the 29-year-old veteran can play first base, third base or be the DH.
So who would want a versatile, power-hitting veteran that cannot hit for average and would likely demand $8 million-$10 million?
The Bronx Bombers Sounds Like an Ideal Destination
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The New York Yankees look like an ideal fit for a low-average, high-power hitter that could cost $10 million.
Reynolds' power would fit right in with a lineup that already features Curtis Granderson, Robinson Cano and Mark Teixeira.
Reynolds would also be valuable due to his versatility. He could DH to add another bat, play 1B to spell Teixeira or replace Alex Rodriguez at 3B.
Replacing Rodriguez would be Reynolds' best bet. Rodriguez is eight years older than Reynolds and will cost the Yankees over $20 million per year every year through 2017.
Daniel Sirianni of Yankees101.com reported back in July that the Yankees were looking for a fill-in at third base as Rodriguez was out with injury, but maybe the Yankees should look for a permanent replacement?
New York has already seen Reynolds and the Orioles on two separate occasions in the last three series. The Orioles' veteran has hit six home runs and has 10 RBI in those two occasions, and there are still two games left in the current series.
The Yankees have the need and the means to acquire Reynolds, but will they pull the trigger?
How Could Cleveland Say No?
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The Cleveland Indians need a lot of things and Mark Reynolds could be at the top of their list for the next free-agent period.
Cleveland currently lacks a DH, a 1B and a 3B, among other things, and Reynolds fits all three of those positions. Though currently a first baseman for the Orioles, Reynolds could make an impact at the hot corner.
He would provide much-needed power to a weak lineup and he would be the right-handed bat the Indians have been missing for a long time.
Plus, there is little competition at third base. Jack Hannahan is currently batting .226 with four home runs and 26 RBI.
Lonnie Chisenhall could be the future for the Indians at the position, but with only three home runs in 72 at-bats he is not exactly making pitchers lose sleep at night. If Chisenhall does prove he can handle the position, then Reynolds can just move to first base.
According to Jordan Bastian of MLB.com, the Indians were reportedly (via ESPN.com) a suitor for Padres third baseman Chase Headley at the trade deadline. The Indians were never able to agree to a trade with the Padres, but they were looking.
Cleveland is desperate for a right-handed power hitter, and Reynolds' versatility could be enough to entice the Indians to acquire him.
The Orioles Need to Talk with the Orioles
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The best fit for Mark Reynolds is exactly where he is at—in Baltimore. This is why the Orioles' really need to discuss, internally, how the team could keep him.
Reynolds is eligible for arbitration, but Baltimore would be better off finding a way to sign the veteran to a manageable long-term deal. If the team needed proof that Reynolds could produce, the last month should have done more than enough convincing.
Joe Auriemma of YesNetwork.com reported that in his last 26 games, not including the two home runs hit the day the article was published, Reynolds had hit for a .322 batting average with 10 home runs and 23 RBI.
Lance Rinker of RantSports.com has even gone as far as to say Reynolds is Baltimore's unsung hero, and he expects him to "keep this thing rolling."
He is on fire and an absolute monster, so why shouldn't the Orioles try and make him part of their long-term solution? The team is out of the AL East basement, and Baltimore will need Reynolds if they wants to keep the entrance to that cellar door shut for the next few years.