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Indians agree to terms on Reynolds, out on Youkilis

Indians agree to terms on Reynolds, out on Youkilis
December 9, 2012
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According to several reports, the Indians have agreed to a deal with free agent third baseman/first baseman Mark Reynolds pending a physical. It is being reported that the terms of the deal are a one year deal for $6 million with an additional $1.5 million in incentives.

Reynolds, 29, is a right-handed hitter that hit .221 with 23 HR, 69 RBI and .763 OPS in 135 games for the Orioles last season. In his six year career he has averaged over 30 homers a season and has a career .807 OPS. He strikes out a lot having struck out 1122 times in 2973 career at bats and is a career .235 hitter, but he has lots of power (.240 career ISO) and he draws walks (.335 on-base%).

With the expected signing of Reynolds, the Indians are also reportedly out of the talks for first baseman/third baseman Kevin Youkilis. It is not known if Youkilis informed the Indians that he has chosen the Yankees and they simply moved on to Plan B which was Reynolds, or if the Indians grew tired of waiting for a decision on Youkilis and just went with Plan B so they could move onto other moves they want to make.

Follow Tony and the Indians Baseball Insider on Twitter @TonyIBI. Also, his new book the 2014 Cleveland Indians Baseball Insider which profiles the Indians' Top 100 Prospects and more is available for sale.

User Comments

December 10, 2012 - 5:15 PM EST
Even with the low averages and strikeouts this guy walks enough, and hits with enough power, to post a decently high OPS. It also appears he can run, he had 24 SB a couple of years ago. So yes, way better than nothing to me. If we can still add Swisher all the better.
Mark Shapiro
December 10, 2012 - 10:38 AM EST
If all you want is to see us win, don't come
Rob Deer
December 10, 2012 - 10:03 AM EST
This guy strikes out too much.
December 10, 2012 - 9:50 AM EST
I live in Baltimore and while I wasn't thrilled with hearing this news, I was ok with it until I just read that they will be paying him $6 million! Guy was a strikeout machine, is terrible defensively, I just don't get why they threw so much money at him. Who were they competing with?
December 10, 2012 - 2:15 AM EST
Reynolds has 4 of the highest SO totals, in a year, in the history of the sport.
However, he is trying to cut that rate down, and that may explain his drop in power last year.
His fielding might be the best we've seen in a while other than Kotchman, and his power may protect Santana.
I look for Santana to break out with Reynolds behind him, and I think Reynolds will improve this team considerably.
Good acquisition, but why didn't they get an option for the following year, or is that not allowed?
December 10, 2012 - 12:37 AM EST
Feels like the Russ Branyan signing from a few years ago. OK acquisition at the price, but won't be a major factor in changing the team results. I still don't really think this changes much, still need a good starting pitcher.
December 9, 2012 - 11:33 PM EST
Tony, I thought the same thing about the strikeouts but the Indians were actually the 3rd best in the AL in team strikeouts.
December 9, 2012 - 10:37 PM EST
We do have a lot of 1b's and none really stand out.
Think I'm in the minority but I like this more than
2 yrs on Youk. Hope the $ saved on Reynolds can
Go towards offer for E. Jackson too.
Shy, would you still post the same if we did sign Youk
Instead. Anderson to make room for the 40 man spot???
December 9, 2012 - 10:31 PM EST
Everything I am hearing behind the scenes and everything being reported publicly is that Reynolds will be the regular first baseman. I guess there is an outside shot Youkilis could still be signed and they share 1B/DH, but that appears very remote and would go against their wish to have some flexibility with the DH spot this year. Looks like they are out on Youkilis and now concentrating on a bat for the outfield (Swisher).

I'd have preferred Youkilis mostly because he would add a professional bat this lineup needs. Reynolds in a lot of ways adds to the strikeout problems this lineup has had in the past, and is a big reason they go through such long dry spells. But, by the same token, he is an upgrade at first base and brings a lot of right-handed power, something they really needed. But, this absolutely CANNOT be the big addition to the lineup this offseason. They need to go out and get Swisher or someone else that impacts to a bigger level. I;m fine with Reynolds so long as he is a secondary pickup for the lineup and not THE pickup.

And James, they did look into McCarthy (and Haren, and Melky, etc). Sometimes players just have their reasons for signing elsewhere or not being interested.
December 9, 2012 - 10:20 PM EST
Love to see them spend the Youkillis/Swisher money on Edwin Jackson instead. What's the point on having a better line-up if you have no starting pitching? Should have gone after Brandon McCarthy too...
December 9, 2012 - 10:15 PM EST
Let's see. You have McDade, McGinnis, Anderson, Gomes, Canzler, all competing at first base and being paid at or near the minimum. Now you bring in guy for 6mil/ who strikes out 35% of the time. The highest strikeout percentage of any active major leaguer. Nothing gets the fans or your teammates going like a strikeout. My only hope is that Antonetti stands behind him one day and gets his teeth bashed in.
Paul Bestgen
December 9, 2012 - 10:06 PM EST
Here is what one article I read said about his defense:
"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."
December 9, 2012 - 9:57 PM EST
Not a bad addition even though Ks will go up. Lots more offseason moves but looks like a good bat for the 5th slot possibly in front of Brantley. Could help pay for Swisher and allow for a MOR FA pitcher if AsCab is traded.

Have not seen him at 1B but does anyone know how well he defends at 1B? Chisenhall's throwing, particularly going to his glove side is not real consistent.
December 9, 2012 - 9:30 PM EST
There could be the potential of them staying away from Swisher and going with a cheaper option in left while still staying in the running for Youk if they decide to make Reynolds a DH.
December 9, 2012 - 8:56 PM EST
Better than nothing. Would've definitely preferred Youkilis ... I guess the Terry Francona magic is not too strong, if he can't even get Youklils to jump on board. Feel they should do the same with Ross. As much as we'd like to hope, Swisher is really unlikely to sign. Get Ross on board, and leave the offer to Swisher open. Like Paul said, they still need a DH, so it's not like they couldn't use Reynolds, Ross, and Swisher (or Youkilis)
Paul Bestgen
December 9, 2012 - 8:42 PM EST
Reynolds could be ticketed for the DH spot – a right-handed bat to further offset the still lefty-heavy lineup – and as a backup at first and third. So Youkilis could still be in the picture. But I think it's unlikely.

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