Re-Sign Or Let Him Walk: Mark Reynolds
Looking to add a much needed right-handed bat in the lineup, the New York Yankees signed Mark Reynolds on August 15th, just three days after being released by the Cleveland Indians. Even with Alex Rodriguez back in the lineup — playing during the appeal of the 211-game suspension that MLB handed down on August 5th — the Yanks still felt that they needed something more to help them reach the playoffs.
He was in the lineup for the first time the very next day for a game against the Boston Red Sox, and slapped a three-run home run over The Monster in his first at-bat — thus kicking off his Yankee career on a high note.
Reynolds was in the lineup for almost every game through the end of the season, playing 36 games, hitting .236 with 6 home runs and 19 RBIs. He’s been known throughout his career to be a very high-risk, high-reward type player, and that’s pretty much what he was for the Yankees — he didn’t hit for a high average, but he did pop half-a-dozen home runs in his short time here.
He also did a pretty good job playing first and third base for the Yankees. It was good for the Bombers to have him, being able to give A-Rod, who was coming off the second hip surgery of his career, some days off here and there. It was also helpful in the sense of finally being able to give Lyle Overbay, a left-handed hitter, a break when the Yankees faced a left-handed pitcher. They hadn’t been able to do that all season because there wasn’t anyone else, so Overbay was forced to hit against just about everybody.
Decision: The Yankees have been saying publicly that they are operating this winter with the mindset that A-Rod will not be suspended next season, and they’ll have him in the lineup on Opening Day. Obviously, along with everyone else, they know that won’t be the case, and A-Rod will likely be suspended for most if not all of 2014.
But of course, a decision in this appeal isn’t expected until probably sometime around Christmas. Manager Joe Girardi has said recently that it complicates things for the Yankees not knowing if they will have him next season or not, but either way, they need to start acting like he’s not.
The third base market isn’t very stacked this offseason, and one player out there will be Kevin Youkilis, who only played 28 game for the Yankees in 2013 because of back surgery, but he’s not returning for next season. That’s why I’m saying it would be wise to bring back Reynolds. With his power in Yankee Stadium, he should be able to produce a solid 20 homerun campaign.
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