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

Leave a comment

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: Max Scherzer sets record with 13-strikeout outing

Getty Images
1 Comment

Max Scherzer is a force to be reckoned with. The Nationals’ right-hander delivered a season-high 13 strikeouts against the Padres on Friday, locking down his fifth win and his fourth double-digit strikeout performance of the year.

More remarkably, it was also the 53rd double-digit strikeout performance of Scherzer’s career, tying Clayton Kershaw for the most 10+ strikeout appearances by an active major league pitcher. Chris Sale is a distant third, with 43 to his name, though he’s been making considerable strides to catch up so far this spring.

Scherzer took the Padres to task on Friday night, whiffing 13 of 31 batters during his 108-pitch outing. He started strong, catching Allen Cordoba swinging on a 1-2 count to start the game and keeping the game scoreless until Ryan Schimpf unleashed a home run in the fourth inning. That was the first and final run the Padres managed off of Scherzer, who retired 14 consecutive batters following the blast and came one out shy of a complete game in the ninth inning. (Fittingly, Koda Glover polished off the win with a final strikeout, bringing the total to 14 on the night.)

It’ll take more than one stellar start to advance Scherzer and Kershaw on the all-time list, however. Their 53-game record ranks 13th, about 159 games behind second-place Hall of Fame hurler Randy Johnson and a full 162 games shy of the inimitable Nolan Ryan.

Twins’ top prospect Nick Burdi will undergo Tommy John surgery

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Twins’ right-hander Nick Burdi is set to undergo Tommy John surgery on his right elbow, the team announced on Friday. Burdi made 14 appearances for Double-A Chattanooga before succumbing to a torn ulnar collateral ligament and is not expected to make his major league debut until mid-2018 at the earliest. A UCL tear doesn’t always require Tommy John surgery — less severe cases can be treated with platelet-rich plasma injections, for example — but Twins’ chief baseball officer Derek Falvey told the press that surgery was unavoidable as Burdi had sustained a “full thickness tear” in his elbow.

Entering the 2016 season, Burdi was widely considered a top ten prospect in the Twins’ system. His exceptional velocity and potent fastball-slider combo made him a fearsome relief option as he came off of his first season in Double-A Chattanooga in 2015. During the 2016 season, however, the 24-year-old experienced a significant setback after a bone bruise cut his season short in late July. Prior to Friday’s diagnosis, he appeared to be staging an impressive comeback with the Chattanooga Lookouts this spring, decorating his efforts with a sparkling 0.53 ERA, 2.1 BB/9 and 10.6 SO/9 over 17 innings.

It’s a tough break for the Twins, whose farm system was ranked 21st in the league by Baseball America. “Obviously he’s proven when he’s healthy he’s an absolute premium prospect, and the Twins are treating him that way,” Burdi’s agent, Matt Sosnick, told Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press. “We just want to make sure everything we do ultimately leads to the goal of getting him back on the field as quickly as he can.”