Something’s not adding up in the Mark Reynolds saga

December 01, 2012 | Drew Forrester

Something’s not adding up in the Mark Reynolds saga

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.

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8 Comments For This Post

  1. unitastoberry Says:

    It costs the fans too. I was not a Reynolds lover but if your not going to upgrade to bring in big cleanup bat(UNLIKELY) then you need to sign this guy for 1st base and depth. The stench is again rising from the whorehouse I mean warehouse.

  2. Steve from Sandpoint Says:

    Does anything the Orioles do really surprise us anymore? I hope the Nationals take Angelos to the wood-shed with there lawsuit, it could not happen to a nicer guy. Once again, 2 steps forward(winning season)1 step backward; going cheap again, O’s fans again lose out !!!

  3. mark Says:

    This could be true OR it could mean they are still in discussions to trade for Billy Butler. Dd has said all along they are more likely to trade then to sign a big free agent. I will reserve judgment for at least another month. DD has said he’d like to have Reynolds back but I don’t know if I can believe that. If you want a player back, I’m sure you would at least have a few conversations with that player and/or his agent.

  4. O's Fan Says:

    The Orioles’ strategy is working. You don’t need giant contracts every offseason to succeed. Just ask the 2011 Marlins or any other host of teams.

    Saying that not paying Mark Reynolds, a bad hitter and subpar first basemen, the easiest defensive position, 11.5 million dollars doesn’t “add up to building a championship ballclub” makes no sense.

    We’ve come to accept that we’ll have bad teams here, so we just prefer to keep around the crappy players we’ve had. We know we can’t win, so we might as well lose with likable players who we’re used to seeing.

    But that’s not these Orioles, not with Duquette and Showalter. We’re going to lose some players we see as “regulars”, but Mark Reynolds has no place being a “regular” in the hardest division in baseball on a club trying to win. (DF: You must not be following the whole thing very closely. Which is why I wrote the piece — to give you the whole story, so you could understand it more. And you obviously didn’t read the blog, either. The Orioles have said they WANT Mark Reynolds back. Duquette has been quoted saying that. This isn’t a discussion about whether the team wants a “crappy player” back. They’ve said they do. They just think he’s worth about $3 million or so less than he wants. That’s what’s odd about it. If he’s really your guy, why not just cough up 3 million more?)

  5. Robert Says:

    Drew: I think you nailed it when you said the move makes sense if the O’s are trying to pinch dollars; that’s been their M.O. the past decade and a half. Don’t forget that a leopard can’t change it’s spots, hehehe. Cheers.

  6. charlie Says:

    i agree w/drew. i’m pretty pleased about last season, because for me the w-l record trumps almost everything. but i still don’t trust what the warehouse says, and like drew says, there’s something fishy here. maybe it’ll work out w/an upgrade, but i hope it isn’t a return to smoke & mirrors, because this team still needs to win back the trust of die-hards like me.

  7. The Armchair QB Says:

    Maybe they’re taking a page from the Ravens’ book that says, “Right player at right….price”! We’ll learn more about his true value as he tests free agency…….

  8. eric Says:

    Reynolds is worth “3.7″ mil a year. That’s what the O’s want to pay him. What’s the problem with that? And the payroll will be 100 mil after all the arbitration cases and a few “BAD” mid level FA signings. (DF: There, fixed that for ya…tell Duquette I said hi tomorrow morning when you fetch his coffee for him.)

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