St. Louis has been linked to various right-handed bats all offseason and now they’ve found their man, with Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reporting the Cardinals agreed to terms with Mark Reynolds.
Reynolds hit just .196 in 130 games for the Brewers this year and hasn’t posted a batting average above .225 since 2009, but he did smack 22 homers and has averaged 30 homers per 150 games for his career.
He can play third base, first base, and the outfield corners and will probably be used in a platoon role versus left-handed pitching, perhaps subbing for first baseman Matt Adams.
Billy Butler left the Royals to sign a three-year, $30 million deal with the A’s and now Kansas City has filled the designated hitter spot with Kendrys Morales.
Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that Morales gets a two-year deal worth $17 million, plus incentives. So the Royals save money compared to Butler, but Morales is a huge question mark following a season in which he turned down the qualifying offer, waited until late July to sign, and hit .218 with a .612 OPS in 98 games.
However, in 2012 and 2013 he hit a combined .275 with 45 homers and a .786 OPS in 290 games. By comparison, during that same time Butler hit .301 with 44 homers and an .836 OPS before seeing his production drop significantly (although not as much as Morales’ did) in 2014.
Another Reds starter on the move, as Cincinnati has traded right-hander Alfredo Simon to Detroit for Eugenio Suarez and Jonathon Crawford.
Simon got his first full-time crack at a rotation spot this past season at age 32 and threw 196 innings with a 3.44 ERA while making his first All-Star team. However, his secondary numbers–including a 127/56 K/BB ratio–were nowhere near as impressive and he’ll be a free agent next offseason.
Simon replaces Rick Porcello in the Tigers’ rotation after they sent him to the Red Sox in exchange for outfielder Yoenis Cespedes this morning.
Suarez made his MLB debut at age 22, struggling in 85 games for the Tigers, but he’s shown some offensive potential in the minors for a young shortstop. Crawford is considered a good but not great pitching prospect who spent this year at low Single-A.
John Mayberry Jr. has agreed to a one-year, $1.45 million contract with the Mets, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post.
Mayberry was traded from the Phillies to the Blue Jays in September and then non-tendered by Toronto last week.
Mayberry is a 31-year-old career .241 hitter with a .734 OPS, but if used mostly against left-handed pitching he’d have value in a part-time outfield role. He’s hit .269 with an .857 OPS off lefties, compared to .224 with a .658 OPS off righties.
Cincinnati is open for business trading away starting pitchers. Alfredo Simon is headed to the Tigers and now the Reds have also sent Mat Latos to the Marlins in exchange for prospects Chad Wallach and Anthony DeSclafani.
Latos will be a free agent next offseason and is coming off an injury wrecked year in which he threw just 102 innings after making at least 30 starts and logging at least 180 innings each year from 2010-2013.
When healthy enough to pitch he was his usual self, posting a 3.25 ERA, although Latos’ strikeout rate dropped to a career-low 6.5 per nine innings at age 26. He’s a legit top-of-the-rotation starter.
Wallach is a catching prospect (and the son of former big leaguer Tim Wallach) who played this past season at Single-A and hit well at age 22. DeSclafani made his MLB debut this year at age 24 and struggled in 33 innings, but the right-hander has a chance to be a decent starter.