Or are we just "raven" mad? [Thank you, I'll be here all week. Try the veal...] The rumblings around a trade of Mark Reynolds have become louder in the past 48 hours, with the main negotiating partner appearing to be the Baltimore Orioles. With the winter meetings taking place at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort in Orlando, Florida from Monday to Thursday next week, and teams having locked down their arbitration guys or let them walk, the hot stove season is now in full swing.
After the jump, we'll round up the latest Reynolds rumors, and see what the Orioles might have to offer in exchange.
Both the Padres and Blue Jays "strongly deny ongoing interest" in Reynolds, according to Rosenthal, but Nick Piecoro says differently. He writes that, "The Diamondbacks were discussing a deal with Toronto as recently as prior to Thursday night’s arbitration deadline." At the moment, however, even after the trade of Adrian Gonzalez, the order of interest in Mark appears to be Baltimore, Toronto, San Diego, with all parties agreeing that the Orioles seem to be the most heavily involved in negotiations.
The first mention of any specific name coming back to Arizona appeared to be yesterday afternoon, when Jon Heyman tweeted, "Orioles remain most logical landing spot for Mark Reynolds. Heard RHP Chris Tillman's name has come up in talks." Tillman was a second-round pick by the Mariners in 2006, and was sent to Baltimore in 2008, as part of the Erik Bedard deal. He made his major-league debut in 2009, so has already burned a bit of service time, having made 23 starts, and the results haven't been too impressive either - a 4-10 record, to go with a 5.61 ERA. In particular, he has allowed 24 home-runs in 118.2 innings.
However, he is very young - he'll still only be 22 on Opening Day next year - and pitched a no-hitter at Triple-A in April. I read an interesting piece on What's Wrong With Chris Tillman, analyzing his mechanics and coming to this conclusion: ":I think the notion that he needed to sacrifice stuff for command really penetrated itself into Tillman’s mindset. As a result, he seemed to be consciously trying to slow down his delivery rather than letting everything come natural." That said, he was listed as the #16 prospect in all baseball before the 2009 season, and at that point, it was said, "At worst, he should become a workhorse in the middle of a big-league rotation soon."
However, Nick P said "I’ve heard the Diamondbacks aren’t crazy about him,:" and suggested an alternative name of David Hernandez, described by Piecoro as "a hard-throwing reliever whom they see as a future eighth-inning guy." He was a 16th-round pick in 2005, and was a starter until late May this year, ironically being moved to the bullpen immediately after what was among the best starts of his career, one-hitting the Nationals for 5.1 innings. There was already discussion this winter about trading Hernandez to the Rays for short-stop Jason Bartlett, but I would think Reynolds, even after a down year, is worth far more than a set-up guy.
Buster Olney reckons the Orioles are "desperate for right-handed power and are locking in on Mark Reynolds as a solution," stating that Mark would "hit 50 homers in Camden Yards.":If that is the case, then the Diamondbacks could take advantage: desperation tends to make for bad trades. Piecoro wrote last night that we "likely will need two or three players, most likely pitchers," in exchange for Reynolds. It should certainly make for an interesting few days: stay tuned as we'll be keeping on top of all the deals and rumors of deals, as they unfold from the Happiest Place on Earth. .