Reynolds rundown w/ Bell and first base info
There will be a full story up later tonight on Orioles.com, but first here a few brief highlights of the O’s press conference to announce this afternoon’s trade for Mark Reynolds.
*Reynolds will be at third base “period” according to MacPhail. He can play first base also, but the O’s have made it clear that he will be at the hot corner.
*So what does this mean for prospect Josh Bell? The O’s said they’ve been fielding lots of calls about Bell, who came up midway through last season and was clearly overmatched at the plate. Showalter was going to call Bell sometime on Monday to talk with him, and MacPhail also didn’t rule out Bell switching positions. But that’s down the line. Right now my guess is, Bell will probably start the season at Triple-A Norfolk. The O’s could eventually plug him in at first base but it won’t be next season because…
*I was told by several people today that the O’s acquiring Reynolds isn’t going to be their only move. They will “get a real first baseman”, and won’t go with a platoon of Ty Wigginton or Luke Scott.
While I speculated that they wouldn’t want Pena because, like Reynolds, he has a high strikeout ratio, that wouldn’t deter Showalter and the Orioles. Both Pena and Reynolds are power guys who bring good defense and exceptional team attitudes.
However, Pena’s asking price right now is high and there’s a reoccurring thought that he could resign a one-year deal in Tampa Bay and hope to have a bounce back year to raise his stock. There are other options such as Adam LaRoche or Derrek Lee.
*MacPhail said there’s nothing in his “back pocket” for the rest of Monday, but he did acknowledge that the next move will likely involve a reliever. The O’s have several offers out to free agent relievers and given that they just traded away two young arms, they’re going to need to add some back.
*This trade does not spell the end of Wigginton in Baltimore. Although it would clearly mean he would play less third base. The Orioles remain in contact with his agent.
Here’s MacPhail’s opening monologue concerning Reynolds from the just-wrapped press conference…
We are not as productive as we would like to be against left handed starters last year so we wanted to get some right handed bats in. Mark has definitely demonstrated he is capable against left handed pitching, we are buoyed by the fact that he will start next year at 27, somebody that we have in our control for several years. He is a young player who is improving his defense, which is a very important part of the equation for us.
And I couldn’t help but be struck by listening to Pat Gillick’s words today when he was inducted into the Hall of Fame; the one thing that he volunteered was when he started as a general manager, I thought the equation for character and talent went about 70 percent talent, 30 percent character, but by the end of his career he figured he had gotten it wrong and it was 70 percent character and 30 percent talent. And we are delighted and hear nothing but great things about the intensity and character of Mark Reynolds. So we are delighted to have him. We hope to make some other changes to augment our offense over the course of the off season prior to Spring Training and are continuing to work towards that end.