Orioles decline Reynolds’ option

The Orioles have declined the $11 million club option for first baseman Mark Reynolds.

Reynolds is still under team control and could be retained if the Orioles offer him arbitration or the two sides work out a deal. The 29-year-old Reynolds got off to the worst start of his career and struggled offensively most of the season, but he did hit 23 home runs and played solid defense at first base. That would suggest Reynolds, who made $7.5 million this season, would make a figure close to $9 million in arbitration, unless the two sides can come to some sort of agreement.

If the Orioles decide to not tender him a contract by the Nov. 30 deadline, Reynolds — who would get a $500,000 buyout — would become a free agent. In a weak year for corner infielders, he could opt to cash in elsewhere and leave Baltimore searching for a first base solution, either internally or on the free agent market. Reynolds posted a .221/.335/.429 line with 69 RBIs in 135 games, playing through multiple injuries down the stretch.

They are expected to pick up right-handed reliever Luis Ayala’s $1 million option for next season, with a formal announcement on both options coming later today.

1 Comment

The Orioles would be foolish if they let Reynolds go now. He has turned into a real asset at 1st base and although he struggled mostly before the all star break, his bat is still a potential danger to opposing pitchers. Given what is out there as far as available 1st basemen, giving him 9 million in arbitration would be a good deal. You don’t make the great improvements that the Orioles did in 2012 and then turn around and tear holes in that team, especially one that probably can’t be filled from within or outside.

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