Former Baltimore Oriole Mark Reynolds signed a one-year contract with Cleveland yesterday. The deal is reportedly worth $6 million in guaranteed money, however Reynolds can also make up to $1.5 million in incentives depending upon his performance. Reynolds had somewhat of a love/hate relationship in Baltimore. He certainly did strike out a lot, racking up 355 strikeouts over two seasons. He also only hit .221 (in both years) with the O’s, however that was an improvement over the .198 in his final season in Arizona. However, Reynolds hit 60 homers over the course of both seasons in Baltimore, many of which were pretty clutch (especially in 2012).
I hope that Orioles fans will remember Reynolds fondly. As I said, his strikeout total was high and in fact many of them were untimely. However again, many of his homers were just what the doctor ordered. I also think that J.J. Hardy owes part of his gold glove to Reynolds, as he was able to dig many balls out of the dirt at first while holding the bag. Most importantly – and I’ve said this several times before – Mark Reynolds’ heart cannot be questioned. How many times did we see him get hit by pitches at the end of 2012 only to stay in the game and be in the lineup the next day? I’m not suggesting that the guy is a future Orioles’ hall of famer by any means, however he gave everything that he had to help the team win.
Cleveland fans should have no reason to believe that he won’t do the same for them. He’s going to be a part of new manager Terry Francona’s push to resurrect the Indians’ franchise that’s suffered their share of bumps over the last…10-15 years. Sound familiar? He’ll also be playing in a ballpark (Progressive Field) that’s similar in character and dimensions to Oriole Park. If history is any indication he’ll disappoint Cleveland fans with his strikeout total. However when he does get a hold of one, the guy that sits in the Progressive Field grandstand banging the drum better be on guard!