Originally written on B-More Birds Nest  |  Last updated 11/9/14
Yesterday, the Orioles made one contract move, as they exercised their $1 million option for right handed reliever Luis Ayala. Ayala – his inherited runner track record aside – was damn impressive out of the bullpen, pitching to a 2.64 ERA in 66 appearances. However, it was the option that the club declined that has Birdland all atwitter today. In a move that was widely expected, the club opted not to pick up the $11 million option on first baseman Mark Reynolds. That doesn’t necessarily mean that the 29-year old wont be back in 2013. In fact, Mark would prefer to stay. “I love playing in Baltimore. I have a lot of friends on the team. I love playing for Buck and I love being in the city. Hopefully, I’m in a win-win situation here so that if they do want me back, hopefully we can work something out and I’ll be back playing for Buck and the O’s.” The team can either take Reynolds to arbitration, or non-tender him and attempt to sign him as a free agent to a new contract. However, as Eduardo Encina points out, that may be risky if they really do want to keep him. Reynolds said Wednesday he’d have to test the waters if he was non-tendered, and even though I believe Reynolds is true in saying he likes playing in Baltimore, allowing him to become a free agent is a risk. The first baseman free-agent crop isn’t great. Carlos Lee is 36. Carlos Pena is 34. Both are coming off horrid seasons. James Loney’s stock has fallen dramatically. Adam LaRoche, coming off a Gold Glove season in which he hit a career-high 33 homers, will be the cream of the first-base crop if he doesn’t re-sign with the Nationals. Nick Swisher can play first, but he figures to get a multiyear deal and he might not be a fit for the Orioles’ clubhouse. So Reynolds might be one of the best available first basemen in the free-agent market, especially now that he’s established himself defensively at the position. While there aren’t too many teams looking for first basemen, the Orioles might be forced to offer a multi-year deal to retain Reynolds if they allow him to go on the market. Personally, I’d like to see the team bring Reynolds back. While some fans (and I count myself in this group sometimes in the heat of the moment during games) pull their hair out over his strikeouts, the fact remains that even this season – a down year for him power-wise – he still led the team in walks and had the second highest OBP of any regular (.335 to Nick Markakis’s .363). For a team that struggles mightily to get on base – the Birds were 11th in the AL in OBP – and whose GM is an OBP guy, jettisoning one of the few guys on your squad who knows how to take a walk probably isn’t the best way to improve. And if Mark is serious about wanting to say in Baltimore, I think we have to assume that he’s finally let go of his whole “I still want to play third base” thing, right? With Manny Machado and J.J. Hardy (sporting his first Gold Glove), the team is set on the left side of the infield. And as well as Reynolds played at first this season, one has to think that he’ll only get better. So, Mark Reynolds – come on back at say, $7-9 million per year for 3 seasons? I’ll take it. Plus, how can you not love this guy? (0:34)
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Hamels trade talk motivating Red Sox pitching staff

Spiller: EJ Manuel learned not to be 'buddy buddy' with everyone

Yankees fire employee over Curt Schilling's daughter tweets

Ravens settle grievance, pay Ray Rice $1.6 million

A-Rod goes 0-2 against Yankees pitching machine 'Iron Mike'

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Redick: Flip Saunders told me to ‘shut the f— up’ three times

Ohio native Brian Hartline to visit Browns today

Report: Jets owner urging team to pursue Darrelle Revis

Kobe Bryant: Wife suffered miscarriage during rape trial

Hernandez allegedly shot friend after fight over strip club bill

Report: Andre Johnson requests to be traded or released

Winners and losers of the NHL trade deadline

Andrew Luck shaved beard, left mustache

Museum to give away DeLorean if Cubs win World Series

Jameis Winston looking to trademark 'Famous Jameis'

Maple Leafs burned on Twitter by frustrated fan

Keith Olbermann putting an end to his Twitter 'batting practice'

Prospect receives 75 cent check from Yankees

Flores: If Nick Young takes a shot at me, he's going to miss

Ten most underrated NFL free agents

Who received franchise tags at the deadline and who did not

WATCH: Whiteside, Len ejected after getting into wrestling match

WATCH: Texas-Baylor fight leads to seven ejections

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Spiller: EJ Manuel learned not to be 'buddy buddy' with everyone

Ten most underrated NFL free agents

Five potential landing spots for Andre Johnson

Texas-Baylor fight leads to 7 ejections

Mark Cuban will be Prez in 'Sharknado 3'

Report: Redskins interested in Suh

Report: Revis likely to hit free agency

Steve Spurrier joins Twitter

MJ makes Forbes billionaire list

Nick Young fires back at Robert Flores

Sad LeBron literally looks in mirror after loss to Rockets

MLS 2015 season preview

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.