Mark Reynolds free agency: Rays remain interested in 1B/3B

Elsa

The Rays recently re-signed James Loney, but could use Reynolds as backup and as a part-time DH.

Despite re-signing first baseman James Loney to a three-year deal earlier this week, the Tampa Bay Rays remain interested in corner infielder Mark Reynolds, reports Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. The team is also still eyeing Jamey Carroll as well.

The Rays aren't alone in their pursuit of the strikeout-prone slugger. Yankees, Angels, and Twins also have some interest in Reynolds, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.

Though he no longer would have a starting spot in the field with the Rays, Reynolds could still play an important role. While the team has said they are willing to rotate four outfielders in the designated hitter spot, Reynolds power could earn him significant time at the position. Furthermore, with third baseman Evan Longoria's health not a sure thing, Reynolds would be useful as a backup should Longoria need to miss time.

Reynolds, 30, is likely done with his years of hitting 40 home runs, but he still has plenty of power as evidenced by the 21 long balls he hit in 2013 over 135 games. He also has a fairly good eye at the plate and draws a good number of walks. However, he struggles to make good contact. Thus, he strikes out a lot (he holds the record for most strikeouts in a season) and has a low batting average, which keeps his OBP low despite the walks.

Carroll, meanwhile, would likely be a cheap utility option. The 39-year-old played in 73 games last season for the Twins and Royals. He is capable of playing all around the infield and has even spent a handful of games in the outfield. However, Carroll wasn't the strongest hitter in his prime and his bat is only getting worse as he gets older. He hit .211/.267/.251 in 2013 and has seen his OPS drop each of the last four years.

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