Reynolds, Diamondbacks agree to three-year deal with option for 2013

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Mark Reynolds and the Diamondbacks were said to be in contract talks for months now, and Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports that the two sides have finally agreed to a three-year, $14.5 million contract with an $11 million team option for 2013.
Reynolds is coming off a career-year that saw him hit .260/.349/.543 with 44 homers, 102 RBIs, and 29 steals, but because he narrowly missed being arbitration eligible for this season it’s important to note that the Diamondbacks would have had him under team control through 2013 anyway.
The new deal cancels out his previous contract renewal for 2010, which was set to pay Reynolds about $425,000, and then essentially pre-pays $14 million for his first two seasons of arbitration while giving the Diamondbacks an $11 million option or $500,000 buyout on his third and final season of arbitration.
Arizona gets some cost certainty by signing Reynolds now, which definitely has value given the unpredictable nature of arbitration salary demands, but typically in these types of contracts the team also secures an option for the player’s first year of free agency (for very recent examples, see Minnesota’s recent deals with Nick Blackburn and Denard Span).
Perhaps the Diamondbacks see the cost certainty and potential savings as hugely important, but guaranteeing him $14.5 million rather than simply going year-to-year via the arbitration process is also a risk if he gets hurt or declines. Because of that not getting Reynolds to delay free agency in exchange for the up-front money seems like a misstep. He’ll still be eligible to hit the open market after 2013.

Video: Andrew Toles hammers grand slam in Cactus League win

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Dodgers’ left fielder Andrew Toles crushed his first spring training home run on Saturday afternoon. With the bases loaded and a two-run deficit hanging over their heads in the fourth inning, Toles stepped up to the plate against Oakland right-hander Jesse Hahn and unloaded a grand slam on the second pitch he saw.

Third baseman Justin Turner was quick to follow up with a solo jack of his own, bringing the score to a comfortable 7-4 lead by the end of the fourth. Another three-run outburst in the fifth and an eighth-inning RBI single by Austin Barnes raised the final score to 11-6… which, coincidentally, was the same score the Reds used to defeat the Athletics’ second split-squad lineup on Saturday (albeit with a few more RBI walks than grand slams).

Toles, 24, is approaching his sophomore season with the Dodgers in 2017. He slashed .314/.365/.505 with three home runs and an .870 OPS in his first major league season in 2016 and is expected to platoon with the right-handed Franklin Gutierrez in left field this year.

David Price’s season debut could be pushed back to May

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David Price showed “strength improvements” in his elbow on Saturday, but Red Sox’ manager John Farrell still doesn’t think the left-hander will be ready to throw by the start of the season — or for a few weeks afterward. According to ESPN’s Scott Lauber, the 31-year-old might not be ready to debut until May at the earliest.

Price hasn’t thrown off of a mound this spring after experiencing soreness in his left elbow on March 1. Surgery doesn’t appear to be necessary, but the Red Sox are playing it extra safe with their No. 3 starter in hopes that rest and rehabilitation will return him to full health sometime during the 2017 season. For now, Price has been restricted to short games of catch until he’s cleared to resume a more rigorous throwing program. Via MLB.com’s Ian Browne:

[There were] strength improvements to the point of putting the ball back in his hand a little more consistently,” said manager John Farrell. “Today’s the first step for that. A short game of catch. That’s what he’s going through. Not off a mound but just to get the arm moving with a ball in flight, and he will continue in this phase for a period of time. There’s no set distance and volume yet to the throws.

The lefty is coming off of a lackluster 2016 season, during which he delivered a 3.99 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 8.9 SO/9 over 230 innings for the Red Sox.