O’s Non-Tendering of Reynolds Could Open an Enticing Door For Sox

The Baltimore Orioles non-tendering of first baseman Mark Reynolds makes Boston’s pursuit of a quality first baseman at the right price infinitely more interesting for a number of reasons. While the move by Baltimore management may ultimately allow them negotiation wiggle room with Reynolds as a free agent instead of rolling the arbitration dice and potentially paying too high a price should the ruling not go their way, the move does allow Reynolds to size up his options and allows Boston to get a foot in the door if they so choose. Why would Boston pursue Reynolds? Let’s break it down.

Oct 10, 2012; Bronx, NY, USA; Baltimore Orioles first baseman Mark Reynolds (12) goes to first on an error during the eleventh inning of game three of the 2012 ALDS against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium. Yankees won 3-2 in twelve innings. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-US PRESSWIRE

He’s the right age. Unlike other potential free agent candidates like Adam Laroche  (33) and Mike Napoli (31), Reynolds is 29 and coming into the prime of his career. His conversion from third base, where he was slow and miscast, to first base where he developed decent footwork and a knack for digging errant throws out of the dirt, makes his 6’3″ frame a long-term option for Boston. I have a friend who lives in Baltimore. He’s a former sportswriter and solid analytical baseball observer. He’s high on Reynolds and is cringing thinking about Boston signing him. That’s good enough for me. Sign him!

He’s in the right division. After two years in Baltimore, Reynolds is familiar with the rough and tumble AL East. He knows the opposing pitchers and will bring that to Fenway, where he’s certain to hit more than the 23 home runs he hit last year for the Os. Previous to 2012 Reynolds had hit 44, 32 and 37 home runs for the Diamondbacks and Orioles. The additional bonus for Boston is that by employing Reynolds you hurt the Orioles. Isn’t half the fun of getting another team’s player the double bonus of them not playing for the other guy anymore?

He’ll likely be the right price. Laroche clocks is in at $8 million and will be looking for a log-term deal, an idea on which the gun shy Sox are not too keen. At $9.4 million, Napoli is even more expensive and is also looking for a four-year deal.Reynolds is bit more more of a bargain at $7.4 million. Although free agency will likely drive up the number for all three, all things being equal should still make Reynolds the bargain.

If 2012 is the beginning of a trend Reynolds may also be showing signs of some better plate discipline. Over his first five years in the league, Reynolds average 192 strikeouts per season. In 2013 that number dropped to 159. Still a big number but hardly the astronomical 223 times he struck out in 2009 with Arizona.

Once one move is made on either of the players by any team the dominos will fall. Boston would do themselves a favor by speaking with Reynolds sooner rather than later.

I’m gonna move away from here
You can find me if you want to go there
I’m gonna move away from here
You can find me if you want to go there
- Gonna Move, Susan Tedeschi 

Topics: Boston Red Sox, Mark Reynolds

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1640362354 Mark Eisner

    I am a lifelong Orioles fan. Most of us here rue the fact that Reynolds was non-tendered. That said, he is an intriguing but flawed player. The intriguing side are his attitude and work ethic, the fact that he cut down on strikeouts and improved his defensive game. The flaws are the strikeouts the low on-base percentage and still-limited range at first base. His power numbers also dipped. Not yet an issue, but a concern. Caveat emptor!

  • http://www.facebook.com/steve.peterson.10 Steve Peterson

    I hear you on all points Mark, especially the power number dip and OBP.

  • http://www.facebook.com/steve.peterson.10 Steve Peterson

    Well, so much for this theory. Sox pulled the trigger early. I still think Reynolds would have better long term in Boston than Napoli.