The Baltimore Orioles non-tendered Mark Reynolds Friday night, according to Roch Kubatko. The move makes Reynolds a free agent. Reynolds made $7.5 million last season with the Orioles and hit .221/.335/.429 with just 22 home runs -- his lowest total since 2007. Rather than tender him a contract and give him a raise, the Orioles decided to cut him loose. They could still sign him back as a free agent.
Reynolds has been a polarizing figure over the length of his career, striking out at historic levels. He set the single-season record for strikeouts in 2009 with 223. But the strikeouts are blended with power and patience, as he has hit 181 career home runs and walked at nearly a 12% rate.
Reynolds was understandably nonplussed at the news:
Reynolds is now a free agent: "It is what it is and move on. I'm excited to get out there and see what’s out there for me."— Brittany Ghiroli (@Britt_Ghiroli) December 1, 2012
Reynolds could be an attractive target for a number of teams looking for a first baseman or designated hitter. The Tampa Bay Rays need both. The Boston Red Sox are also looking for some offensive firepower. Of course, the Orioles could still make a bid to retain his services, though likely at a lower price.