The Orioles need a third baseman.
Mark Reynolds is a third baseman.
He plays for the Diamondbacks, they want to trade him.
The Orioles have been in talks, Sports Illustrated's Jon Heyman predicts that the Orioles will get Reynolds at the Winter Meetings that begin on Monday. Simply put, this needs to happen. It simply can't not happen. If the Orioles allow Mark Reynolds to get away then Andy MacPhail, Peter Angelos and the entire Orioles front office need to stand before the crowds in January at fanfest and offer everyone a sincere apology. And possibly resign and sell the team respectively.
First, who is Mark Reynolds?
Reynolds is the 27 year-old thrid baseman for the AZ Diamondbacks. In his four years in the bigs he has averaged 35 homers, an OPS of .817, 100 RBI and an OBP of .334. He plays a solid third base and is considered to be a very fine young player. That is the good. The bad, He has led the NL in strike outs each of the last three years and last year finished with a BA under the mendoza line.
We still get him. Why? He is the definition of buying low.
This is not Carlos Pena who has declined in some way every year since his bust out year with the Rays. Reynolds is young, has raw talent and a big bat. Buster Olney tweeted earlier this week that Reynolds would, "hit 50 homers in Camden." I know the strike out numbers are alarming, but lets take a closer look at them.
Reynolds struck out 211 times last year, leading the NL, and only mustered a .198 BA. That looks bad, on the surface. While striking out 211 times and hitting .198 Reynolds also: maintained an OBP of .320; drove in 85 runs (on a bad Arizona team); hit 32 homeruns; grounded into only EIGHT double plays and had a 1.033 OPS with runners in scoring position! Reynolds also averaged 4.16 pitcher per plate appearance last year well above the league average.
Reynolds fits so many needs. He is a young thirdbaseman, he has right handed power, he works counts, he can take a walk as well. Reynolds 83 walks last year would have led the Orioles by 24. In fact if Mark Reynolds was on the Orioles in 2010 he would have led the team in homers, RBI and walks. His .433 SLG number would have been fourth on the team right behind Scott, Jones and Markakis.
Reynolds is what the Orioles need. Chris Tillman's name has been thrown around but Arizona may have balked on that. Rumor has it that AZ wants a couple of young bullpen arms. Personally I would start with David Hernandez and Kam Mickolio and go from there. Throw in Troy Patton and maybe even revisit Tillman.
I would hate to lose Tillman, I have grown very attached to all the young pitchers that have come up through the system, but this is how the game is played and Mark Reynolds is sitting there and the D-Backs appear to be doing everything they can to give him away.
The winter meetings start on Monday in Orlando, Florida. I think the Orioles will end up signing a FA reliever; re-signing Koji and finalizing the Reynolds trade.
If these things don't happen and we miss out on Reynolds there will simply be no excuses.