Reynolds signs with Indians

The Cleveland Indians have agreed to a one-year contract with infielder Mark Reynolds for 2013, as the two sides reached a deal on Sunday evening, according to a source.

Reynolds, who was non-tendered by the Orioles last month, will get a base salary of $6 million with another $1.5 million in incentives and is expected to play first base for the Tribe .The 29-year-old made 7.5 million with Baltimore last season and amid a thin free-agent class of first basemen, Reynolds — who would have made around $9 million in arbitration — was willing to return to the O’s, but not at a significantly reduced salary.

The Orioles never offered Reynolds any type of deal, preferring to “let the market play out” for his services instead and several teams expressed interest in Reynolds at last week’s Winter Meetings. One of them was Cleveland, which has its Spring Training facility in Arizona and will allow Reynolds to live home during big league camp. While Baltimore is still looking to add a middle-of-the-order bat, the club’s top internal choice at first base for 2013 is Chris Davis.

After starting the 2012 season at third base, Reynolds — who committed six errors in 40 chances — was moved across the diamond and worked hard to turn himself into an above-average first baseman. Frequently taking some good-natured ribbing for his tendency to never stay on his feet, he became adept at picking balls in the dirt and making excellent scoops, resulting in a .995 fielding percentage in 108 games at the position.

Offensively, Reynolds recovered from a poor first half to post a .221 batting average with a .335 on-base percentage and a .429 slugging percentage, collecting 23 homers and 69 RBIs in 135 games. Sixteen of his homers came in the final two months of the season after he got past the most prolonged slump of his career. Through Reynolds’ first 85 games, he hit .211 with eight homers and 33 RBIs and struck out 104 times. He did draw walks throughout the season, leading the team in free passes for a second straight year, with 73, and he helped the Orioles reach their first postseason in 15 years by hitting 15 homers and posting a .517 slugging percentage in his final 50 games.

A well-liked player in the clubhouse, Reynolds played through numerous injuries during the season. He was hit by a pitch six times during the regular season and twice in six postseason games. Health was a question to everyone but Reynolds, who deflected any notion that he might need to miss time. The Orioles acquired from the D-backs on Dec. 6, 2010, in exchange for right-handers David Hernandez and Kam Mickolio. The signing is still pending a physical, with CBSports.com first reporting the two sides were closing in on a deal.

7 Comments

What a disappointment!! The O’s certainly could use Reynolds at the price the Indians paid Now what happens? We need a middle of the order batter and we also lose a home run hitter. Not a very productive baseball meeting for the O’s!!

Reynolds batted against the Yankee’s very well which is so important. I can’t believe the O’s wouldn,t pay 7.5 for one year.

We gotta trust DD to get some pop in our lineup. Im not comfortable with having BetemIt or Lew Ford DHing. We need a more than average bat. Come on DD, make some noise!! We deserve it!

I’d rather have Jim Thome batting right handed than either or them. Trade Arrieta, Britton and Steve Johnson and cash for Justin Upton!!

I still say that the O’s should make a big push for Adam LaRoche especially now that Reynolds is out of the picture. Come on O’s, spend the MASN money on him for the next 3 years. Your fans deserve it after 15 long years. They will come out to Camdem Yards in large numbers and repay you 10 fold.

Come on DD we have lost a big bat and what u call very important to the club, an above average 1st baseman for a below avg 1st baseman. Reynolds saved many many runs for us over there and u cant say the price wasnt rite!!!

Not a very smart baseball or business decision Mr. Duquette. Reynolds saved many runs and games with his glove down at 1st base. I see Angelos purse strings are getting short again. Either 7.5 or 9 million (whichever) would have been a bargain. Now, it will cost a lot more (if we can find someone) or we will probably hop back on the losing express. They say one guy doesn’t make a team but not having Reynolds in the lineup and at 1st base will definitely put that theory to the test. I so hope that I am wrong but I guess we will see – won’t we?? As far as DH, Jim Thome was a great player-once but his career is coming to an end. It ended with the glove years ago and now the bat is following suit. He is so one dimensional – isn’t that what Buck doesn’t want?

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