According to Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com, the Cleveland Indians have agreed on a one-year contract for corner infielder Mark Reynolds. The deal is valued at $6 million, but could be worth as much as $7.5 million if he reaches certain performance bonuses.
Though the Indians now have a first baseman for next season (also an experienced designated hitter and third baseman), allowing for 24-year-old Lonnie Chisenhall to take over at third base, the Tribe definitely paid too much for Reynolds' services in 2013.
Reynolds is coming off of a year where he saw his power numbers take a dip, batting a mere .221 with 23 home runs and 69 RBI. He owns a lifetime .235 batting average, and though he has some good pop to his bat, he has struggled to bat over .221 the last three seasons.
If you ask me, a guaranteed $6 million dollar contract doesn't warrant the numbers he put up in 2012 where he made $7.5 million with the Baltimore Orioles. I'm not sure what the Indians front office was thinking, but it seems their current commitment to fans includes players that struggle to hit for average. Even though the team is young and looking to rebuild, guaranteeing Reynolds this much money, even for only one year is absurd and could have been spent on improving other aspects.
If Reynolds can somehow find a way to replicate the numbers he put up in 2009 with the Arizona Diamondbacks (.260 average, 44 home runs, 102 RBI), perhaps this deal will look like a steal. However, with three consecutive years of average baseball, my guess is this contract will turn out to be a big waste of money.