Jun 4, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Milwaukee Brewers third baseman Mark Reynolds (7) fields a ball hit by the Minnesota Twins and commits an error throwing in the 6th inning at Target Field. The Twins win 6-4. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports
A couple weeks into 2014, Mark Reynolds signed a minor league contract with the Milwaukee Brewers. He was also extended an invitation to the big league camp, and after a decent spring training performance, he made the 25-man roster and would begin the season with Milwaukee.
He signed a one-year pact with the Brewers worth $2M.
POSITION: First Base, Third Base
2014 CONTRACT: $2M
2015 CONTRACT: Free Agent
After splitting the 2013 season between the Indians and the Yankees, Reynolds came into the season expecting to earn some playing time at first base with an occasional start at third base, spelling Aramis Ramirez.
That is exactly what happened.
Reynolds started 72 times at first base, the highest figure on the team. Lyle Overbay made 64 starts in what wasn’t a pure platoon situation with the right-handed hitting Reynolds. Three other players made starts at first as well, including September call-up Matt Clark.
The thirty-one-year-old vet also made 29 starts at third, filling in for the injured Ramirez.
Although he wasn’t picked up so much for his fielding prowess, Reynolds did make some nice plays at both corner positions, especially at first base. His .996 fielding average at 1B was better than the league average (.993), and he committed only three miscues in 690 chances.
His .964 FA was slightly above the loop average at third and his range factor/9 was a smidge better than league average. Take that with a grain of salt though, based on his limited innings at the hot corner.
Reynolds ended the season with 22 home runs in 378 ABs but fell below the Mendoza Line, hitting .196 after finishing 3-for-24 in September.
He actually fared better against right-handers than left-handers, blowing up any notion of manager Ron Roenicke’s platoon plan with Overbay.
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Another downside is his prodigious 2014 whiff rate of once every 3.5 plate appearances, but that number was actually a bit better than his career rate of once every 3.1 times at the plate.
At his 2014 contract of $2M, he was fairly paid, pretty much doing what the Brewers expected—hitting some home runs, striking out a lot, and playing solid defense.
Should the Brewers sign him for 2015?
If they can get Reynolds for $2-$3M, they should go for it. He could reprise his 2014 role, subbing for Ramirez as needed and making 40-60 starts at first with the expectation that the left-handed Clark is given a chance to win the job and plays against most righties.
Reynolds is a solid utility infielder that can play defense and hit home runs. I think—at the right price—he would be an asset for the Brewers in 2015.