Late Thursday evening, the Washington Nationals signed Mark Reynolds to a minor league deal. We look at what he’s going to bring to the table.
The 34-year-old is coming off of a couple solid seasons in Colorado, where he hit 44 home runs and collected 150 RBI. Despite this, he was another victim of the free agent saga that plagued many players this winter.
Reynolds is a well-renowned power hitter who has 281 career long-balls, but can easily fall victim to the strikeout. He’s led the league in Ks four times, and is 18th on the all-time list of punch-outs.
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After starting his career as a third baseman with the Arizona Diamondbacks, he became a full-time first baseman in 2015. As the Rockies welcomed back a fully-healthy Ian Desmond, and with Ryan McMahon coming up from the minors, there was no longer a spot for Reynolds.
The news came as a surprise, given the Washington Nationals currently have a similar situation themselves. Although Ryan Zimmerman and Matt Adams are unlikely to play at an all-star level this season, both are at least average starters.
It’s tough to imagine Reynolds cracking the big-league roster anytime soon, and it may stay that way unless injuries strike. But, should he be required, having someone who can hit a bomb off the bench is never a bad thing.
It’s fair to wonder whether Adam Eaton‘s injury could be worse than originally anticipated. Adams ended up playing left field during Thursday’s game. So, if this were the case, the thinking would be to ensure Zimmerman can still be rested.
But it’s been reported that Eaton is coming along fine in his recovery from a bone bruise. So this is likely just a depth move by the Nationals’ front office in case of injury doomsday. After all, Zimmerman has had some injury trouble in his career.
Given the low risk involved in the signing, it’s hard to consider this a bad move. And Washington Nationals fans know more than most, injuries can strike at any time.