The Indians have made numerous offers in this offseason so far, but they've finally been able to sign their first name Sunday evening. Mark Reynolds has come to terms with the Cleveland Indians on a one-year deal worth a guarenteed salary of $6 million, according to MLB.com's Brittany Ghiroli. He can earn up to $1.5 million in extra money.
Reynolds fills a need for the Tribe at first base and brings some legit power threat to the position that they've been searching for. It also eliminates the possibility of signing Kevin Youkilis to man first base on a two-year deal that the Indians have reportedly offered the former Red Sox. Youkilis also has an outstanding offer from the Yankees for one year.
The biggest flaw in Mark Reynolds' game is his strikeouts, which has been something that has come with his territory since he was in Arizona. Reynolds is the strikeout king of major league baseball, but for all the punch-outs, he manages to hit some bombs into the stands and find other ways on base to be a productive player.
The former Oriole hit 23 home runs last year and knocked in 69 runs while hitting .221 with a .335 on-base percentage. He has a career average of .235 and career on-base percentage of .332 in six major league seasons. He has led the league in strikeouts four years, last year being the first time he did not hold that dubious distinction since 2007.
The strikeouts are tolerable because Reynolds finds ways to walk and he does hit home runs. He has hit at least 17 in each season, with 17 coming in his 111 games played rookie year in 2007, but as many as 44, coming in 2009 with the Diamondbacks. In Progressive Field as a right-handed bat, he'll be good for 25 home runs, if not way more.
The signing of Reynolds ends some sort of thought over who the first baseman will be, but do not forget the Indians still have a designated hitter spot to fill, so they have some flexibility in that they could still hold an open competition between a lot of the names that were in the mix for the first base spot, including Rule V selection Chris McGuiness, waiver claim Mike McDade, and trade acquisition Yan Gomes.
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