Dodgers 2014 Off-Season Free Agent Profile: Mark Reynolds
As free agency has officially begun, we take a look at free agents that could potentially find themselves with the Dodgers next season.
Today we look at a power-hitting corner infielder that could fill a need at third base:
Reynolds is a 30-year-old first and third baseman that split last season between the Cleveland Indians and the New York Yankees. In his major league career, Reynolds has a .233 batting average and 202 home runs in seven seasons.
Beginning the season in Cleveland, Reynolds spent time at first base, third base and as the designated hitter. He played 99 games with the Indians and hit 15 home runs with 48 RBI; however, he hit just .215 and had 123 strikeouts. The Indians released him in August and Reynolds found a home with the Yankees. With the Yankees, Reynolds played in 36 games and hit .236 with six home runs and drove in 19 runs while splitting time at first and third base.
Reynolds is an all-or-nothing hitter with tons of power, but a high tendency of striking out. What he gives up at the plate in making contact, he makes up for by hitting home runs. He has never hit less than 17 home runs in a season and that was in his rookie season. He’s hit as many as 44 home runs in a season and his 162-game average of 33 home runs and 93 RBI is far more than any production the Dodgers have received at third base in recent years.
The fact that Reynolds can also play first base makes him an option for the Dodgers, as his right-handed bat can spell starter Adrian Gonzalez if needed. Gonzalez is a sure bet to start just about every game, but having Reynolds available could cause Mattingly to give him a little more rest.
Despite playing for seven seasons, the 30-year-old is still a capable player and is in his theoretical prime for at least one more season. The former Diamondback and Oriole hasn’t played in the National League since 2010 but he hit 32 home runs and drove in 85 runs that year.
The Dodgers need a third baseman that can hit and Reynolds can provide that, albeit with a few kinks, but could stabilize a lineup that already includes sluggers Hanley Ramirez, Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp and Gonzalez.
Reynolds strikes out a lot. That’s been his reputation ever since he entered the league. He has three separate seasons where he’s struck out over 200 times and another season where he just missed with 196. Last season, Reynolds struck out 154 times in 445 at-bats which makes for a 34.6% strikeout rate. If the Dodgers do pursue the right-handed slugger, they’ll know what to expect.
To go along with the strikeouts, Reynolds is not a good hitter overall. He’s never hit higher than .279 in a season and that was back in 2007. The last four seasons he’s failed to reach a batting average of at least .225 and hit as low as .198 in 2010. Any team that signs Reynolds knows what they will get from him in terms of hitting.
When he came into the league, Reynolds was a third baseman; however, he isn’t the greatest glove at the hot corner. He began the transition to first base and is a more solid defender there than at third, where the Dodgers would need him. His fielding percentage as a third baseman in his career is a pedestrian .928 and would be a huge difference from what Juan Uribe provided last season.
Last year, Reynolds signed a one-year deal with the Indians worth $6 million that could have reached $7.5 million with incentives. He said that he would like to continue to play for the Yankees and they do have a need at third base. Reynolds could expect another incentive-laden contract that begins with a base between $5-8 million.
Chances Dodgers Sign Him: 10%
Reynolds hasn’t been linked to the Dodgers at all but that doesn’t mean that it’s impossible for him to sign with them. Depending upon the situation with the Yankees, Reynolds could look for other teams in need of his services and the Dodgers could be one of those teams if they don’t re-sign Uribe.
The Dodgers will most likely bring Uribe back but if they feel they need more power from that spot then they could give Reynolds a call; however, there is a small chance of seeing Reynolds in Dodger blue next season.
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