Mark Reynolds free agency: Rays interested in 1B

Eric Christian Smith

Reynolds spent 2013 with the Indians and Yankees, but could bring some power to Tampa Bay next year.

The Tampa Bay Rays have an interest in free agent Mark Reynolds as the continue to search for a solution to their hole at first base, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.

Reynolds, 30, split 2013 between the Indians and Yankees, appearing in 135 games split primarily between third base, first base and designated hitter. He hit .220/.306/.393 with 21 home runs last year while striking out 154 times. Reynolds' best season came in 2009 when he hit .260/.349/.543 with a career-high 44 homers while playing with the Diamondbacks. However, that year he also set the MLB record for most strikeouts in a season by a batter when he whiffed 223 times.

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The stat lines show what kind of player Reynolds is: He can hit for a ton of power, perhaps more than any other free agent on the market this offseason. However, he will cost a team with his strikeouts and his consistently poor batting average keeps his OBP low despite a decent number of walks. He could likely be had on a reasonable deal similar to the one-year, $6 million contract he received last offseason from the Indians.

The Rays are without a first baseman after James Loney became a free agent. Loney is hoping to parlay a nice season into a three-year deal, something Tampa Bay is unwilling to offer. The team currently has Sean Rodriguez penciled in as their starter at the position, but will surely make some kind of move to fill the spot this offseason.

Signing Reynolds to a one-year deal could continue the tradition of short-term first baseman in Tampa Bay after Carlos Pena originally left to sign with the Cubs following the 2010 season. In 2011, the Rays used Casey Kotchman at first. In 2012, they brought Pena back for a year. Last year, it was Loney. Reynolds could be poised to become the fourth-consecutive one year solution at first base for the Rays.

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