I always have to say this when the conversation comes around to Mark Reynolds.
I wouldn’t have him on MY team. Even at first base, where he was acceptable with the glove, the holes in his offensive game were so gaping and costly that he wouldn’t be employed by me.
But I don’t run the Orioles.
And for the last two years, they’ve employed Reynolds.
For the last seven weeks or so, Dan Duquette could have negotiated a new deal with him. He could have offered him arbitration. Or he could have picked up an $11.5 million option for 2013 just to see what one more season would yield from Reynolds.
Instead, Duquette and the Orioles simply said, “we’ll pass”.
That makes Reynolds a free agent this morning.
And, despite the fact I wouldn’t have him on MY team, the Orioles are now in the market for a “real” first baseman after deciding to let their guy leave and test the market.
Here’s why it’s all wrong: The Orioles have let Mark Reynolds go because of a few million dollars. They could have given him $11.5 million and he’d be on their team, albeit perhaps at $4 million more than the team thinks he’s worth. They could have signed him to a 2-year deal for roughly $20 million, but they probably only thought he was worth $16 million for two years.
Dan Duquette keeps talking about the Orioles “valuing” Reynolds, but they won’t sign him because they can’t fit him in their budget.
Or they simply don’t want him back and they’re lying about it.
Either way, Dan Duquette has publicly declared that Reynolds doesn’t “fit in our budget” for 2013. What budget in baseball is so restricted in December that a GM can’t weasel a few more million bucks out of the owner to keep a player who has been a fixture in the team’s lineup for the last two years?
It’s one thing if Duquette says, “We wish Mark all the best but we’re going to go in a different direction at first base.”
Instead, he has constantly said, “We like the player, but not at that price.”
And yesterday, on the eve of letting Reynolds walk, Duquette again referenced the team’s budget and talked about “financial challenges”.
Something’s not adding up here.
(Please see next page)