Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports that the Diamondbacks have have announced the signing of starting third baseman Mark Reynolds to a three year $14.5 million contract that includes an option year that would extend the contract to 2013 if exercised by the club. The option is worth $11 million.
Another of the many players facing contract renewal during spring training, Reynolds was subject to having the team dictate his pay because he has yet to accumulate the necessary service time to be arbitration eligible. In fact, the Diamondbacks had renewed his contract on March 11th, prior to working out this deal. The deal buys out Reynolds' next three seasons, leaving Arizona with the choice of picking up his option or going to arbitration in his final year of eligibility.
The deal will pay him salaries of $500,000 for 2010, $5 million in 2011, and $7.5 million in 2012. He also receives $1 million signing bonus. The option includes a $500,000 buyout.
Reynolds hit .260/.349/.543 in 662 at bats while leading the national league in strikeouts for the second consecutive season with a mind-boggling 223 whiffs. Reynolds' K-rate of 33.6% was offset in part by his 76 walks and 44 homeruns. More than half (51.8%) of his plate appearances resulted in one of the so-called three true outcomes - a strikeout, a homerun or a walk. With those on-base skills and power production, Reynolds remains a vital cog in the Arizona offense.
The Diamondbacks had previously secured outfielder Justin Upton to a long term contract buying out the entirety of his arbitration eligibility. The moves allow the club to establish some payroll certainty over the coming three to four seasons when they hope to contend for the top spot in the National League West.
Joe Tetreault is a member of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey.
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