Reynolds Inked to Long-Term Deal

During FanFest at Chase Field last month Arizona Diamondbacks General Manager Josh Byrnes commented that the Diamondbacks were interested in signing a few of their young core players to long-term contracts.

Specifically he named Justin Upton and Mark Reynolds as two players they would be talking with. Since that time Upton has signed a six-year contract extension and Reynolds confirmed his representatives are speaking with the Diamondbacks about a long-term deal.

Reynolds comments on the situation opened a flood gate of questions from the press and as the days went on it was clearly becoming a distraction to the Diamondbacks third baseman. Not only was he getting asked about his contract by the media but his teammates were likewise curious what the status was.

After a week of this Reynolds had lost patience, something we are accustomed to see when he is in the batter’s box. Things were finally resolved with he announced that a deal had been reached with the team.

The problem of course was that a deal had not been reached. There were still details to be worked out which created yet another round of distraction for the young infielder. At long last word was released that the team and Reynolds had indeed reached an agreement.

The contract extension is a three-year deal which gives the Diamondbacks cost certainty by buying out Reynolds’ arbitration-eligible years. The deal is guaranteed for 2011-2012 with a club option for 2013.

The contract pays Reynolds $500K in 2010 with a $1 million signing bonus. His salary goes to $5 million in 2011 and $7.5 million in 2012. The Diamondbacks hold a $11 million bonus for 2013 but can buy that out for $500K.

The benefit of this deal is that it gives the Diamondbacks cost certainty throughout Reynolds arbitration years. This allows the team to budget a specific number rather than having to worry about a season where Reynolds could go in front of an arbitration committee for a big raise.

Should Reynolds continue to progress as a player as expected, this deal could become a bargain by the end of 2012. Still it should be noted that the sample size for what kind of production we should expect from Reynolds is still too small to base any real facts.

But if we put it into perspective, the Diamondbacks are paying only $2,325.58 per strike out in 2010 (based on the average number of strikeouts Reynolds has per game over 162-game season in career). That number jumps to $23,255.81 in 2011 and $34,883.72 in 2012.

So basically, if Reynolds maintains the same consistency in strikeouts he will earn more whiffing in a series than I will earn over an entire year. That’s kind of humbling when you think about it. On a more positive note, that many swings and misses the team may be able to use him to move the air conditioning around Chase Field keeping the fans in the stands more comfortable during those long hot Phoenix summers.

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