According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, the Brewers have signed Mark Reynolds to a minor league deal with a $2 million base salary and $500,000 in incentives if he makes the team. Reynolds is expected to make the team and compete for Milwaukee’s starting first base position.
The Yankees signed Reynolds in August after he was released by Cleveland due to a disastrous season. He improved with the Yankees, as he hit .236/.300/.455/.755 with six home runs with them.
Despite Alex Rodriguez getting suspended for the whole 2014 season the Yankees did not show much interest in re-signing Reynolds, as they never offered him a major league contract. Reynolds might not have been interested anyways since he might have a better shot at more playing time with the Brewers, but it was still worth a shot anyways.
Reynolds is far from a perfect player because of his high strike out rate and terrible defense. He has a 32.3% career K%, and according to FanGraphs, his defense has been worth a total of 80.6 runs below average for his career.
However, despite the strikeouts and low batting average, Reynolds has been underrated hitter throughout his career. Reynolds’ career .793 OPS, ,344 wOBA and 108 wRC+ are solid numbers. He has been a very patient hitter as well with a career 11.6 BB%
Kelly Johnson is probably the current starter at third base for the Yankees. He arguably is a better player than Reynolds, but they would make for a great platoon together. Reynolds has a career .238/.359/.475/.834 slash line against lefties and a Johnson has a career .244/.335/.424/.759 slash line against righties.
Also, Reynolds would have given the Yankees a solid option to play third when the inevitable Brian Roberts injury happens, and Johnson has to move to second. Right now their backup infielder options are Brendan Ryan, Scott Sizemore, Dean Anna and Eduardo Nunez. None are very appealing options. Reynolds could have also provided first base insurance for Mark Teixeira.
It is really very puzzling that the Yankees seemed so disinterested in Reynolds and other infield options. The Yankees have huge question marks at three out of the four infield spots. It will probably need to be upgraded for the Yankees to be a championship contender, especially if they miss out on Masahiro Tanaka.