The Reynolds question
Since there’s been some confusion and I’m getting a bunch of questions about Mark Reynolds’ future with the Orioles, here are some thoughts/quick notes to go along with the story I wrote earlier Tuesday night for Orioles.com (which you can read here.)
*The two sides have had no negotiations regarding Reynolds’ 2013 contract. There’s been no two-year offers or haggling over a one-year price, no discussions on any of that as of Tuesday night. The communication has been pretty sparse since the organization officially declined his $11-million option, with Friday the deadline to decide whether to tender him a contract or not.
*Reynolds made $7.5 million last season, recovering from a poor first half to post a .221 /.335/.429 line with 23 homers and 69 RBIs in 135 games, and it’s believed he would accept a one-year deal around that sum to return to Baltimore. The question becomes for executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette, do you pay him that again? The Orioles don’t have a lot of wiggle room when it comes to the payroll with a large number of arbitration eligibles and returning contracts projected to put them in the mid-$80 million range.
*With a short list of first baseman on the free agent market, Reynolds wouldn’t accept a paycut from last season and the Orioles aren’t expected to offer him arbitration which could cost them around $9 million. That means, should the two sides not reach an agreement by Friday, Reynolds would probably be non-tendered and become a free agent.
*Duquette hasn’t ruled out the possibility of exploring a deal with Reynolds, and the organization has the right to do that until Friday’s deadline. So while there’s not a lot of optimism on that front, it’s certainly not out of the question that the two sides can converge rather quickly in the next few days to keep him.
*Should Reynolds become a free agent, it would be hard to imagine a scenario where he would re-sign with Baltimore, although not not totally out of the question Reynolds has an offseason home in Arizona, and could make a return to the National League, or another organization with Spring Training facilities out west.