Reynolds’ New Contract

Luckily for the Arizona Diamondbacks, Mark Reynolds just missed out on Super 2 status for the 2010 season. That means the 3 year, $14.5 million contract Reynolds signed on Monday will carry him through his first and second arbitration seasons. The contract also contains an $11 million club option on his final arbitration season.

With 72 HR and 199 RBI in the last two seasons for Reynolds, a comparison to Dan Uggla seems apt. Uggla will earn $7.8 million this season on top of a $5.35 million reward in his first arbitration season, with his $13.15 total falling just short of Reynolds’ new deal. In the context of actual arbitration rewards, this contract appears to be fair for both sides.

When it comes to judging players on HR and RBI, as the arbitrators tend to do, the club is often going to lose on players like Reynolds. The Diamondbacks appear to be acknowledging that with this contract, as Reynolds is receiving $14 million for the equivalent of exactly one free agent season in the final two seasons of the deal. Reynolds is a fine player, as he showed last year with a 4 win performance, but with the downturn in the market, it’s unlikely that he is worth that much money.

CHONE, Marcel, and the fans all project a dip in home runs for Reynolds, backed by likely regression from a ridiculous 26% HR/FB rate in 2009. Without these home runs, Reynolds is a good-but-not-great hitter – his projected .363 wOBA is in line with last year’s performance by Paul Konerko. His fielding has now been below average for three straight seasons. This is not to say that he’s not valuable – almost every team could use a 27 year old 3B with a 3.0 WAR skillset. That doesn’t mean, however, that the market will be kind to the club holding his rights. Indeed, it seems like the Diamondbacks were forced to pay $14M for what is projected to be around $10.5M of arbitration market value.

Despite the negativity above, this contract certainly beats having to pay market value for Reynolds’ production for Arizona, and it was inevitable that Reynolds would receive a high contract relative to his production. Josh Byrnes may be trying to take advantage of the lull in the market for player contracts and attempting to squeeze all the production out of the current low value of wins while he can. If the market picks up in future seasons, as I expect it will, this contract could pay dividends to Arizona in a couple of years.




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4 Responses to “Reynolds’ New Contract”

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  1. LeeTro says:

    I don’t think a 26% HR/FB ratio is that ridiculous. According to HitTracker, 34 of his HR would have been out of at least 25 parks, a.k.a. he hits a whole lot of no-doubters. I don’t see him dropping below a .375 wOBA.

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    • Jimbo says:

      His avg HR distance is ridiculous. I’ve heard people comment on the number of “just enough” HR he’s hit…but percentage wise it isn’t that out of line. And there isn’t any stat for warning track outs, where I’d imagine he’s also among league leaders.

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  2. Scott says:

    Problems:

    1) “With 72 HR and 199 RBI in the last two seasons for Reynolds, a comparison to Dan Uggla seems apt.” Read: I’m too lazy to dig deeper than the player that other articles have identified as a comparable player. Reynolds has 89 career bombs. Uggla had 90 at the time he went to arbitration. Reynolds has 261 career RBI, Uggla had 270. Career AVG; Reynolds .257, Uggla .262. Also Reynolds has 35 steals, 24 last year. Uggla had 13 career. So, if Reynolds posts a 1/9/-22/.268 line, then yes he is Dan Uggla. If he hits 25 bombs he’s Prince Fielder minus average plus steals (FYI Prince: 17.670M for same timeframe).

    2) “Indeed, it seems like the Diamondbacks were forced to pay $14M for what is projected to be around $10.5M of arbitration market value.” Read: “Remember that Uggla talk with 13.15M? Forget all that, when you look at the recent contract of John McDoesn’texist, 10.5M is the number.”

    3) “Despite the negativity above, this contract certainly beats having to pay market value for Reynolds’ production for Arizona, and it was inevitable that Reynolds would receive a high contract relative to his production.” Simplified: This contract is cheap relative to production, also this contract is expensive relative to production. I’m going to cut you tremendous slack and assume you are flip flopping “arb market value” and “FA market value” within the same sentence without saying so outright, to stay consistent with the sentence preceeding and in complete opposition to the Uggla comparison of the second paragraph.

    4) ____________. This is your analysis of the option year you passively mention in the first paragraph. I would think this has significant bearing on the value of the deal; as the DBacks now have the unilateral decision on whether Reynolds is worth 10.5M in the final year of the deal (value minus buyout). Fairly large component to this deal which is absent from this analysis.

    5) Smart-ass comments aside, you flip-flop between comparative analysis to arb-eligible players (correct though i think you choose the wrong guy) and a percentage-of-FA-WAR-40/60/80 analysis (so wrong it hurts), which serves only to obfuscate your point. Arb $ and FA $ are different and while the latter informs whether the DBacks should non-tender or trade Reynolds and try and spend the money elsewhere, combined they completely misstate the arbitration criteria and process, which is not based on current FA value of wins.

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