In case you haven’t heard, the New York Yankees have an opening at third base. With Alex Rodriguez suspended for the entire 2014 season, the Yankees now need to address the massive hole at the hot corner, and Mark Reynolds would serve as the best option.
There are still a few names on the market that could surely fill A-Rod’s role and probably produce at a higher level, but they would come at a higher cost than the Yankees would prefer. Michael Young isn’t in the Yankees’ plans, and neither is trading for San Diego Padres third baseman Chase Headley. According to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post, Reynolds is weighing several options from a few different teams and will likely have a decision made by the end of the week. The teams reportedly interested in Reynolds include the Washington Nationals, Texas Rangers, Minnesota Twins, Baltimore Orioles and the Yankees.
The Yankees could have an edge over the other suitors with the recent news of Rodriguez’s suspension. Reynolds will receive a good amount of playing time in Rodriguez’s absence, but he will also share the position with a group of platoon players that will serve as the core of the Yankees’ infield in 2014. Mark Teixeira‘s durability is still undetermined after having surgery on his wrist, so Reynolds could fill in at the other corner when needed.
Reynolds played in the Bronx in the second half of the 2013 season and had quite a productive stint in pinstripes. The right-handed slugger posted a .236/.300/.455 slash line with the Yankees, which was an improvement after coming from the Cleveland Indians where he hit .215/.307/.373. Reynolds enjoyed 19 RBIs and six home runs in just 36 games for the Yankees. However, he continued his career’s trend of swinging and missing by striking out 31 times in those 36 games.
The Yankees know what they are getting in Reynolds by trading a high slugging percentage for a high strikeout total, which will equal out after acquiring free agents who possess the ability to hit for average in Carlos Beltran and Jacoby Ellsbury. Reynolds would be the perfect right-handed power bat to even out the collection of lefties in the Yankees’ lineup. If by week’s end Reynolds decides to sign with the Yankees, I believe he will be one of the team’s more underrated signings of the winter.