Jesse Johnson-US PRESSWIRE
Free agent first baseman Mark Reynolds reportedly signed a deal with the Cleveland Indians on Sunday.
The 29-year-old Reynolds hit .221 over 135 games last season for the Orioles, but came alive down the stretch after a completely woeful first half of the year. Though his 23 home runs and 69 RBI represented his lowest single-season totals since his rookie campaign in 2007, Reynolds is still widely viewed as one of the strongest right-handed hitters in baseball.
After making a serious run at fellow free agent Kevin Youkilis, the Indians ultimately settled on a more cost-effective option in Reynolds to take over their first base position going forward. Likely to have once again led the majors in strikeouts for the fifth consecutive season if he had suited up for a handful of extra games, Reynolds fanned 159 times in 538 plate appearances last year despite producing solid power numbers. According to MLB.com's Brittany Ghiroli, Reynolds' deal is worth $6 million but could reach $7.5 due to incentives.
Expected to be slotted in the middle of Cleveland's lineup heading into 2013, Reynolds is only four years removed from a season where he smacked 44 home runs and swiped 24 bases for the Arizona Diamondbacks. His plate discipline has improved only slightly since then, if at all, but this signing fills a significant need for a Cleveland roster that suffers from a serious lack of power hitting options.