LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) - Mark Reynolds is taking his big
swings to Baltimore.
The Orioles acquired the strikeout-prone slugger from the
Arizona Diamondbacks on Monday for right-handed relievers David
Hernandez and Kam Mickolio in a trade between last-place teams
trying to upgrade in different ways.
"We needed to improve our offense," Orioles president of
baseball operations Andy MacPhail said. "We think Mark Reynolds
very much represents that."
There is no doubt that Reynolds can hit the ball a long way -
when he hits it, that is.
Reynolds has averaged nearly 35 homers for the last three years.
He's also struck out over 200 times in each of those seasons -
those are the three highest strikeout totals in major league
"He brings some things we don't have," Orioles manager Buck
Showalter said. "You can find negatives on any player. We
certainly like his contact-to-damage ratio. We're going to dwell on
all the positive things he does."
The Diamondbacks moved quickly to fill the hole at third base
the 27-year-old Reynolds left, agreeing to a $2 million, one-year
contract with free agent Melvin Mora. The 38-year-old Mora hit .285
with seven homers and 45 RBIs for Colorado last season. He'll
probably platoon with Geoff Blum at third base.
"Happy to have him," Arizona general manager Kevin Towers
Towers came to the baseball winter meetings looking for
relievers and was willing to swap a power bat for a power arm or
"Over the last couple of years, the organizations that are
getting into postseason play are doing it with pitching," Towers
"Tampa got better once their pitching got in line. Texas got
better once they got their pitching in line. Cincinnati, the same
thing. We've seen the success that San Francisco had. I think
people are willing to trade offense for pitching. It's how you
build championship teams."
The 25-year-old Hernandez went 8-8 with a 4.31 ERA last season
for the Orioles in 41 games, including eight starts.
The 26-year-old Mickolio was 0-3 with a 4.32 ERA in parts of
three seasons with the Orioles. He excelled at Triple-A this year,
striking out 48 in 35 1-3 innings.
Towers said he envisioned Hernandez and Mickolio working in the
"It's the start of rebuilding this bullpen," Towers said.
"We're still out looking for more relief help."
Reynolds' value often depends on who's evaluating him. He hit
.198 with 32 homers and 85 RBIs last season, coming off a year in
which he set career highs with 44 home runs and 102 RBIs.
Reynolds has homered every 16.4 at-bats in the big leagues.
Plus, his walk total has increased all four years he's been in the
But oh, those strikeouts.
Reynolds set the major league record when he fanned 204 times in
2008, then struck out 223 times the next year. He fanned 211 times
"That's the tradeoff sometimes," MacPhail said.