Although Mark Reynolds has the ability to lead the league in home runs every season (except for last year), the fact that he strikes out between 150 and 200 times is a major problem.
Not to mention, the Baltimore Orioles are not interested in investing $11 million in another season with the uncertainty factor looming in the back of their minds.
This past Friday, the Birds’ front office announced they would not tender Reynolds’ contract for next season, meaning that he is now considered a free agent. He has the ability to look around the league and analyze his options. Of course, he can also return to the Orioles if they come to a mutual agreement.
He says he loves the city and wants to return, but needs to look around and check out his options.
The right-handed slugging first baseman smashed 23 home runs last season and drove in 69 RBI while batting .221. Those are some of his lowest career power numbers. However, he did cut down on his strikeouts: he finished with 159, compared to over 200 per season from 2008-10 and 196 in 2011, his first year with the Birds.
Reynolds originally broke into the majors as a third baseman, but struggled mightily at the beginning of last year defensively. The Black and Orange were in need of a first baseman, and he filled that role very well; he is versatile and still definitely a power threat.
The Orioles are searching for a more consistent slugger, one who hits home runs but does not swing and miss as much as the former Diamondback. They need a bat in the middle of the order that can drive in 100 runs and deliver 30+ home runs while hitting above .250.
If the Orioles do not re-sign Reynolds, here are five backup players who might be on their radar this winter.