Brewers “making push” to sign Mark Reynolds

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CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports that the Brewers are “making a push” to sign free agent Mark Reynolds, who is said to be “leaning toward” signing with them. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports also hears that a deal is close.

It was reported earlier this week that the Nationals had expressed interest in Reynolds, but he’d be a backup there with Ryan Zimmerman at third base and Adam LaRoche at first. Milwaukee is a much better situation, as the club has an opening at first base after watching Corey Hart sign with the Mariners. The Brewers have expressed interest in other free agents (James Loney) and trade possibilities (Logan Morrison, Ike Davis) this winter, but they haven’t gone anywhere.

Reynolds, 30, hit .220 with 21 homers and a .699 OPS in 135 games last season between the Yankees and Indians.

UPDATE: FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports that it will be a minor league deal.

Jon Gray will start Opening Day for the Rockies

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Manager Bud Black has tabbed Jon Gray to start on Opening Day for the Rockies. That will be Monday, April 3 in Milwaukee against the Brewers in an afternoon contest.

Gray, 25, is starting Opening Day for the first time in his career. He’ll be the sixth different Rockies pitcher to start Opening Day in as many years.

The Rockies and Gray had a bit of a scare on Friday as he left his spring training start with discomfort in his left foot, but everything came up clean in an MRI. He pitched again on Wednesday with no issue.

Last season, Gray went 10-10 with a 4.61 ERA and a 185/59 K/BB ratio in 168 innings. A consensus top prospect entering each of the previous three seasons, Gray surprisingly put up better numbers at Coors Field — the most hitter-friendly park in baseball — than away.

Blake Treinen named Nationals closer

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Today Washington Nationals manager Dusty Baker named Blake Treinen as his closer. Treinen has saved exactly one big league game.

There wasn’t necessarily an obvious choice, however. Last year Washington had Mark Melancon, but with him gone and GM Mike Rizzo’s failure to land a high-profile closer in the offseason, it became a contest between Treinen Shawn Kelley and Koda Glover.

Treinen posted a 2.28 ERA with 31 walks and 63 Ks in 67 innings in 2016. His big improvement last year came against lefties, who had tattooed him in the past. He pitched well this spring as well, but that doesn’t necessarily mean anything.

The Nats are our favorites to win the NL East, but we do have some questions about the pen. Blake Treinen will take the first crack at answering them.