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.

Mike Trout has been really good at baseball lately

Getty Images
15 Comments

“Water wet,” “Sky blue,” “Dog bites man” and “Mike Trout good” are not exactly newsworthy sentiments, but once in a while you have to state the obvious just so you can look back later and make sure you were, in the moment, aware of the obvious.

And to be fair, “Mike Trout good” is underselling the Angels outfielder lately. He’s on the greatest tear of his great career lately, and dang it, that’s worthy of a few words on this blog.

Last night Trout went a mere 1-for-1, but that’s because the Diamondbacks were smart enough not to pitch to him too much, walking him twice. There was no one on base the first time he came up and he got a free pass. There was a guy on first but two outs the second time, so he was once again not given much to hit and took his base again. Arizona was not so lucky the third time. The bases were loaded and there was nowhere to put Trout. He smacked the first pitch he saw for a two-run single. They probably shoulda just walked him anyway, limiting the damage to one. The last time up he reached on catcher’s interference. Maybe Arizona figured that literally grabbing the bat from him with a catcher’s mitt was the best bet?

If so you can’t blame them, really. Not with the month he’s had. In June, Trout is hitting .448/.554/.776 with five homers. He currently leads the league in the following categories: home runs (23), runs (60), walks (64), on-base percentage (.469), OPS (1.158) OPS+ (219), total bases (179) and intentional walks (9). He currently has a bWAR of 6.5. WAR, in case you did not know, is a cumulative stat. When he won the 2014 MVP Award, he “only” had 7.6 for the entire year.

Sadly, one man does not a team make, so the Angels are only 9-8 in the month of June and have fallen far back of the red-hot Houston Astros and Seattle Mariners in the division race. For this reason I suspect a lot of people are going to do what they’ve long done and overlook Mike Trout’s sheer dominance or, even more ridiculously, claim he is overrated or something (believe me, I’ve seen it even this month).

Feel free to ignore those people and concentrate instead on the greatest baseball player in the game today, who has somehow managed to up his game in recent weeks.