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Indians officially sign Reynolds, designate Canzler

Indians officially sign Reynolds, designate Canzler
December 18, 2012
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Today the Indians officially announced the signing of first baseman Mark Reynolds to a one year contract. The deal is for a reported $6 million and includes an additional $1.5 million in incentives. To make room on the 40-man roster the Indians designated first baseman/outfielder Russ Canzler for assignment.

Reynolds, 29, spent the last two seasons with the Baltimore Orioles, posting a .221 batting average with a .335 on-base percentage along with 26 doubles, 23 home runs and 69 RBI in 135 games in 2012.  For the year he hit .286 (30-105) with runners in scoring position and recorded the 5th-best fielding pct. among AL first basemen (.995, 108 games, 5E, 971TC).

Reynolds began his professional career in 2004 after being selected in the 16th round of the First-Year Player Draft by the Arizona Diamondbacks.  He debuted with Arizona in 2007 and hit .260 (150-578) with 30 2B, 44HR & 102 RBI in 155 games for the D-Backs in 2009.  His 164 home runs since the 2008 season represent the 8th-highest total in all of Major League Baseball over the five-year span.  He has collected at least 73 walks in each of the last four seasons since 2009, one of five players in MLB to accomplish the feat (Zobrist, C. Pena, Fielder, Dunn). He owns a six-year Major League career average of .235 (699-2973) with 148 2B, 181HR and 501 RBI in 853 games.

Canzler, 26, hit .269 with 3 homers, 11 RBI and .697 in 26 games with the Indians last season. Prior to joining the Indians he hit .265 with 22 homers, 79 RBI, and .815 OPS in 130 games with Triple-A Columbus.

Along with Reynolds, the Indians have picked up two other first base- left field types this offseason with a waiver claim of Mike McDade and Rule 5 selection of Chris McGuiness, which made Canzler expendable.  As a first time outright, if Canzler clears waivers, he has no choice but to accept an outright assignment to Columbus and would remain the property of the Indians for the 2013 season.

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 19, 2012 - 10:28 PM EST
No problem Chip. I think you and I are simply on a different page with Canzler. He is not an adequate defensive 1B. He's very below average. He's fine to use if someone is injured or in spot duty of 15-20 games a year, but over a long period his issues show. He might get claimed, and if so I don't see it as much of a loss as others like McDade/McGuiness are just as good and maybe with more upside defensively/offensively. I would prefer he goes unclaimed (which I think he will) so he sticks around for another year to at least see what he can do.
December 19, 2012 - 9:20 PM EST
Tony, I meant to add in my last post that I respect your opinion and agree that as of now he is a borderline candidate. Not trying to convince you of anything, just explaining my perspective.
December 19, 2012 - 9:16 PM EST
No one ever hits as many HRS in the minors. Fewer games, lack of physical maturation, and other factors. I'm not proposing using Canzler as the right fielder as I believe they will try McGuiness there if they fail to sign Swisher. What I said in my last post was his possible usefullness at 1b/DH. DHing mostly and spelling Reynolds occasionally. He is an adequate 1b. Canzler is 26 and coming into his physical prime. His swing is not long and he is 6'2 220. Your assessment is fair enough, but I believe there is room to debate that this guy can be a slightly above average hitter with the capability of providing some much needed power. Maybe Swisher doesn't sign and noone claims Canzler and he gets that opportunity to prove himself. To this point, for someone that has had a successful minor league career, he hasn't been given the opportunity that he deserves. That should be the determining factor in his release. It certainly hasn't been due to being outperformed by everyone else on the 40 man.
December 19, 2012 - 6:59 PM EST
Chip, maybe I missed something, but are you saying Canzler is an equal defensively to the others you listed? Problem is, he lacks athleticism and is a poor defender wherever he plays. A lot of the same physical characteristics and defensive limitations as Duncan.

I like Canzler....and like him in a depth role to be a bench bat possibly but more of a AAA depth guy to come up and fill a corner position when needed. I think it is really pushing it to expect him to be a 25 HR hitter in the bigs with a .350 OBP considering he's never even hit more than 22 homers in a minor league season and only hit 20 or more twice. Also he had a .328 OBP last year and has a career .347 OBP in the minors. Those numbers are going to suffer as he moves up and he has reached his ceiling as a player. Again, he's a Duncan type to me. A guy that will spend the next several years bouncing between AAA and ML as a bench/role guy in at LF/1B/DH that plays poor defense, strikes out a lot, and has some power.
December 19, 2012 - 6:26 PM EST
So Seth, Canzler's 26 ML games is a large enough sample for someone who hit .278 with an OBP of .347, SLG of .472, an OPS of .819 for his career? Being the equal of Reynolds is not my argument. Why Canzler over Neal,McDade,McGuiness and a host of others on the 40 man that are no better with the bat or in the field is my question? I have their numbers in front of me and see no real argument that Canzler should've been the one to go. Especially when he seemed to be a good candidate to rotate with Reynolds from 1b to DH. Tony, Canzler is most certainly not a "Duncan type". Nothing in there history that I see would suggest such. Canzler is in no way an all or nothing hitter as Duncan. Like I said before, I'm not going to lose sleep over this move, but noone seems to have any logical description for it. If given the opportunity, I see Canzler as someone who could hit .275 with 25 HRS while getting on base at a .350 clip. I find it hard to believe that the Cleveland Indians are so overwhelmed with talent to not see this guy through.
December 19, 2012 - 1:28 PM EST
If you think Canzler would be just as good an option as Reynolds you are either a family member of his or are being intellectually dishonest. No doubt that Reynolds helps the team more than Canzler. I agree that some guys that are fringy get more chances than others for some reason, but that's the reality of the game as sometimes teams or managers value some guys for different reasons.
Ghost of Sizemore Past
December 19, 2012 - 1:00 PM EST
isnt the team full of stiffs that hit 15 hr and .220? isnt this shelley duncan times 6 million dollars?
Russ Canzler's Best Friend
December 19, 2012 - 10:03 AM EST
not that im a big russ canzler fan, but i do find it very ironic how some player get chance after chance after chance to make it in the show, yet many in the minors never get a shot, or just one, like canzler... not saying canzler woulda raked, but wow, this organization confuses me
either way its likely canzler would struck out less than 160 times a season
L.D+M.S+C.A=? used to be B.S
December 19, 2012 - 1:02 AM EST
Canzler = Jayson Nix = Shelly Duncan etc....
December 18, 2012 - 9:32 PM EST
Chip, I think you are overvaluing Canzler. He has very low value in the industry. He has some RH pop that is interesting, but the swing is not that great and he has a limited bat and is a poor defender. I'd actually be surprised if he were claimed, and even if he is, if he has any sort of lengthy career. he's going to go the way of AAA-MLB and back and forth the next few seasons and be DFAed several times. A depth guy.
December 18, 2012 - 9:21 PM EST
Chip, Canzler's strikeout rate in AAA was higher than Duncan's K-rate in Cleveland the past 2 years. Canzler had an ISO of .129 last year in his limited time in Cleveland ... it wasn't really enough games to judge anything, but there was nothing to be excited about from his performance in Cleveland. If he hit .269/.299/.398 for an entire year while playing poor defense at 1b/OFor as the DH, that would be terrible, and would make him one of the least valuable players in MLB.
Aussie Tribe
December 18, 2012 - 8:57 PM EST
Would've liked for Canzler to stay but he was going soon anyway. When/if tribe sign a RF (swisher) & SP (Jackson) 2 others need to come off 40 as well unless trade prior opens up a slot. Neal, Phelps & Herrman with maybe Carrera would be the pack for this. Think next is Hermann as think he has to be on 25 man roster to start next season( no option left) and too many RP now.wood & Tomlin can't go on 60 day DL till late Feb which will be too late to save 2 others from being Dfa'd

December 18, 2012 - 8:34 PM EST
Not a racist
December 18, 2012 - 7:52 PM EST
A few of my buddies and I refer to Mark Reynolds as "White Power" (b/c he's white and hits HR's). Reynolds is also from a real hick-town in eastern Kentucky -- there had to a be a few members of the Klan in Pikeville, Kentucky. I'm not a racist i just think its a fitting name.
December 18, 2012 - 7:46 PM EST
How can Canzler be compared to Duncan at this point? He's 26, hit .269 and certainly isn't any worse defensively than Duncan. He also isn't a strike out artist as Duncan was. I think there were others more deserving of being DFA'd. This team lacks right handed hitters with pop. He hit 3 HR in 26 games. That projects to be close to 20 for a full season. My guess is he would hit more than that. I'm not going to lose sleep over his designation, but the logic doesn't make sense in my mind. Hopefully, he doesn't get claimed.
December 18, 2012 - 6:32 PM EST
Canzler will probably bounce around between 1B/LF in ML and AAA next several years. I just don't see a guy that does much in MLs. No defense whatsoever and while he has some RH pop, he's exposed to ML pitching. At best could be a Duncan type. Now, I prefer to see where things go with him and keep him - which he has a fairly decent shot to clear waivers - so we will see.
December 18, 2012 - 6:30 PM EST
I have to think someone picks up Canzler. I don't know if his bat will ever have play in the majors but if it does it will be a shame if it's not in Cleveland. Too bad Canzler, Goedert, Neal or Fedroff didn't get a real shot last year, now it's a crapshoot who to keep and who to DFA.

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