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Nationals interested in Mark Reynolds

Jan 14, 2014, 10:47 AM EDT

Minnesota Twins v Cleveland Indians Getty Images

Washington paid a premium to add Nate McLouth as a fourth outfielder and now Bill Ladson of reports that the Nationals are trying to beef up their bench even further with Mark Reynolds.

According to Ladson they’ve “expressed interest” in Reynolds, who split last season between the Indians and Yankees while hitting .220 with 21 homers and a .699 OPS in 135 games.

It seems unlikely that Reynolds would sign with the Nationals unless he has no offers to be a regular, because Ryan Zimmerman and Adam LaRoche are locked in as the corner infield starters in Washington.

  1. spudchukar - Jan 14, 2014 at 10:56 AM

    How is Tyler Moore not a better option?

    • runteddyrun - Jan 14, 2014 at 11:13 AM

      Tyler Moore still is an option – if they signed Reynolds, he would more than likely fill the role of Chad Tracy.

      • karlkolchak - Jan 14, 2014 at 11:22 AM

        Hopefuly, Reynolds will hit just a TAD more than Tracy did last year. He could hardly avoid it.

      • natstowngreg - Jan 14, 2014 at 11:31 AM

        Yes and no. Yes, as in Moore backing up at 1B. No, as in Moore backing up at 3B and being a LH pinch-hitter.

        As the Nats’ bench is currently constructed, Anthony Rendon would back up at 3B (Danny Espinosa or Jamey Carroll or Mike Fontenot backing up at 2B). Nate McLouth is the backup OF/LH pinch-hitter. Jhonatan Solano or Chris Snyder is the backup C, Scott Hairston the backup OF/RH pinch-hitter.

    • natstowngreg - Jan 14, 2014 at 11:24 AM

      He is. Moore can play the OF (not well, but he can). He’s also young, and has shown in flashes that he’s a more complete hitter than Reynolds. Moore can’t back up at 3B, while Reynolds can.

      I hope Rizzo doesn’t sign Reynolds. If the idea is to have Moore season some more at Syracuse, then take over 1B in 2015, OK. (As opposed to moving Ryan Zimmerman to 1B and Anthony Rendon to 3B, which would also be OK.) But there have to be better options on the market for a backup corner INF/RH pinch-hitter.

      • spudchukar - Jan 14, 2014 at 11:30 AM

        The Nats do not have roster spots available for both Moore and Reynolds (or anybody else for that matter.)

        With Harper, McLouth, Hairston, Span, and Werth in the outfield, and LaRoche, Rendon, Espinoza, Desmond, Zimmermann, and Carroll on the infield, plus 2 catchers that totals 13. Add Moore and you get to 14, and room for 11 pitchers. In the NL many teams carry 12, and dropping below 11 is rare.

      • natstowngreg - Jan 14, 2014 at 11:33 AM

        Right. See my note above on the bench. If Reynolds were signed, Moore is the one likely to be sent down.

      • spudchukar - Jan 14, 2014 at 11:42 AM

        But Rendon can back up Zimmermann, so it isn’t as if they don’t have a back-up. As a Cards’ fan I consider the Nats the most talented team in the NL. Signing Reynolds and sending Moore to AAA, makes them less talented.

      • natstowngreg - Jan 14, 2014 at 12:14 PM

        Seems Rizzo would prefer that Rendon focus on 2B for now, and have someone else backup at 3B. At least, until such time as Zimmerman moves to 1B. Of course, as you note, bench slots are limited, so Rendon might have to play a little 3B at some point.

        Agreed that Moore would be better. Reynolds is the classic Three True Outcomes hitter (as Adam Dunn was for the Nats). Moore has shown the ability to be much more than that. He’s just in a situation where he can play regularly at Syracuse, or sit on the Nats’ bench. Unless someone gets hurt (see Matt Adams filling in for Allen Craig).

      • emdash01 - Jan 14, 2014 at 12:22 PM

        Espinosa and Carroll won’t both make the team, they’re competing for utility infielder. The bench will be:

        4th OF/lefty: McLouth
        5th OF/righty: Hairston
        Utility IF: one of Espinosa/Carroll/Kobernus/Walters/Rhymes
        Backup catcher: one of Solano/Leon/Snyder (ugh)
        Pinch-hitter and backup corner outfielder: undetermined; if they don’t sign anyone else, probably Moore.

    • emdash01 - Jan 14, 2014 at 12:19 PM

      Tyler Moore is not very good – he can’t play any position but first (his outfield play is pretty bad), has little plate discipline, and his only tool is power. Reynolds strikes out a lot, but he also walks a lot. The only advantage Moore has is some fading hope of upside and cost.

      • spudchukar - Jan 14, 2014 at 12:34 PM

        I am sure the Cards would be willing to take him off the Nats’ hands for a mid-level prospect.

        Reynold’s OBP and Moore’s are almost identical. Granted Moore’s .327 number was amassed in the minors, but Reynolds hasn’t been improving. And I don’t think many teams believe Reynolds is a viable 3B option.

        Moore slugged 31 HRs in each of his last two full seasons in the minors. He is just the same player as Reynolds at this time, cheaper, and with much more upside.

      • emdash01 - Jan 14, 2014 at 12:47 PM

        If they’d agree to that, I’d be fine with it, although with the Cards’ development system he’d probably work out just fine. :) He just hasn’t shown he’s able to adjust to major league pitching for more than a short period of time, and it’s not like he’s particularly young and likely to develop further – he’s 26.

      • paperlions - Jan 14, 2014 at 1:44 PM

        Why would they bother? He has major contact issues and no idea of the strike zone. No defensive value at all. He has power, but couldn’t get to it last year thanks to a 32.6% K rate. He’s Arencibia without the ability to catch.

      • paperlions - Jan 14, 2014 at 1:50 PM

        He’s 27 this month.

        I don’t know why people keep acting like he is a viable option for an everyday 1B or corner OF. Best case scenario is useful bench player or part-time player. He doesn’t even have useful platoon spits (admittedly SSS though).

      • dylanthom2013 - Jan 14, 2014 at 3:37 PM

        At least his mom Mary is proud of him.

      • nolanwiffle - Jan 14, 2014 at 4:00 PM

        True. She was quoted as saying to Tyler, “You’re gonna make it after all”!

  2. edelmanfanclub - Jan 14, 2014 at 11:58 AM

    He’s a patient hitter with good pop but he hasn’t produced a WAR over 1 since I was in high school. He is guarantee for 200 strikeouts if he plays full time. Take a bench/platoon role already. This isn’t 2009 Mark, no one thinks your a 44 HR .892 OPS guy anymore. He’s not washed up or anything, just isn’t a starter at this point in time.

  3. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jan 14, 2014 at 12:27 PM

    Right-handed power is in such short supply, someone will end up giving him a chance to win an everyday job.

  4. blovy8 - Jan 14, 2014 at 2:06 PM

    Once Matt Williams asked Zimmerman to buy a first baseman’s mitt, Moore’s roster spot became dicey. It shows they don’t really even trust him to play 1B, and for all the batting improvement he made after the demotion in 2013, the power really didn’t show up in his limited role and the first half numbers count too. Moore is probably better off on a rebuilding club that will give him the atbats to see if the power can make up for his other faults. He’s got nothing left to prove in the minors. Forced into a pinch-hitter role, he’s at a disadvantage to a veteran like Reynolds who can still fake it at third and is decent at 1st. While their hitting profiles are really similar, at least the Nats would have better depth if Moore still has options and isn’t tradeable. The Nats are right to seek any possible upgrade they can get without making a roster move.

  5. braxtonrob - Jan 15, 2014 at 3:24 AM

    Mark “Rally-Killer” Reynolds, with his sub-.230 AVG, and 200+ SO’s a year. No thanks.

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