Reynolds Wrapped? Diamondbacks Consider Long-Term Deal

During a recent news conference Arizona Diamondbacks General Partner Ken Kendrick suggested the team may be willing to discuss long-term contracts with some of their younger players.

One of the players specifically mentioned by Kendrick was third baseman Mark Reynolds. Reynolds just missed being classified as a Super Two player, which would have made him arbitration eligible in 2010.

If Reynolds progresses this season as he did in 2009 he could be in for a big raise next season. The Diamondbacks would be looking to mitigate the year-to-year increases through his arbitration years to provide the team with some payroll stability.

Reynolds and his representatives have suggested that they would be willing to discuss a guaranteed contract if it makes financial sense. The two sides will continue to talk and exchange ideas and salary figures.

Both the Diamondbacks and Reynolds have stated if a deal is going to be made it must be before the season starts as neither wants to enter April with this distraction.

Diamondbacks fans have to cringe just a little any time a long-term contract is mentioned. In the past few years Arizona has not fared well when they have taken that route with a player.

When Chad Tracy burst onto the scene he looked as though he was the type of player who would be a cornerstone for the organization. The team negotiated a long-term deal with Tracy and before that contract expired they were looking for ways to trade or release him.

Outfielder Eric Byrnes had a great year in 2007 helping the Diamondbacks reach the NLCS. The team looked to Byrnes to be a leader and locked him up for three years. From the moment he signed that contract Byrnes was never the same.

Catcher Chris Snyder emerged as the starting catcher and a clubhouse leader. The Diamondbacks awarded him a long-term deal cementing his roster spot and making Miguel Montero expendable. Last season Snyder was hurt requiring back surgery and now finds his name prominent in trade rumors as the Diamondbacks try to unload him and his contract.

Given all of these recent examples you can’t help but wince whenever someone suggests signing one of the young players to a multi-year contract. For the past two seasons Reynolds has shown a lot of power at the plate but he has also set records for strikeouts in each. Not exactly a model for long-term success.

This situation bears watching but personally I won’t lose a lot of sleep if this deal doesn’t get done. I want to see if Reynolds displays any better plate discipline before I am comfortable seeing him at third base for the next three to five years.

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