One topic upon which we touched just prior to Hurricane Sandy was whether or not first baseman Mark Reynolds should stay with the Baltimore Orioles. This did not come as any sort of a surprise to Reynolds, who apparently had anticipated the move for some time. (We’re fooling ourselves if we don’t think that teams don’t at times inform players that their options aren’t going to be picked up and so forth folks!) This doesn’t mean that Reynolds definitely will not be with the team in 2013. The Orioles have two options; they could go to arbitration with Reynolds, or they could non-tender him.
Reynolds has expressed interest in staying in Baltimore because he feels that the atmosphere in the clubhouse is great and he likes the team. However if the Birds non-tender him he’ll also have the option of testing the free agent market, which is something that could intrigue Reynolds. As I said previously, I’d like to see the Orioles keep him because he plays with everything he has. Not only did he make several acrobatic plays at first to dig balls out of the dirt, but there was apparently no circumstance that was going to bring Reynolds out of games. Down the stretch he was hit by pitches, stepped on, etc, and yet he continued playing. I used this quote regarding Reynolds the first time I breached this topic, however Buck Showalter said, “…this is a tough, tough man.”
Naysayers will point to Reynolds’ .221 average and high strikeout total as reasons why the Orioles should pass, however in an age where some athletes look for reasons to come out of games and collect a paycheck, it’s refreshing to see someone like Mark Reynolds who truly does care. I don’t blame the O’s for not exercising the option, however I’d like to see them find a way to bring him back at a reduced rate. That might sound self-contradictory in a sense, however everything has it’s price-point. The O’s also opted to pick up a $1 million option on the contract of Luis Ayala so as to bring him back for 2013.