Nationals Interested In Free Agent 1B/3B Mark Reynolds?

Joy R. Absalon-US PRESSWIRE

Are the Washington Nationals really interested in Mark Reynolds? CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman listed them as one of five teams that "have been in on" Reynolds this winter. He does have ties to the Nats' GM and third baseman, of course, but does he make sense in D.C.?

Veteran infielder Mark Reynolds, 30, played 135 games in 2013, 99 for Cleveland and 36 for New York (AL), posting a combined .220/.306/.393 line in 504 plate appearances over which he hit 14 doubles and 21 HRs and was worth +0.4 fWAR. In seven major league seasons, Reynolds has posted a .221/.321/.438 line with a 162-game average of 27 doubles and 33 HRs. He also strikes out a lot. Last season, the '04 Arizona D-Backs' 16th Round pick played first and third base for the Indians and Yankees. New York Daily News writer Mark Feinsand tweeted recently that with NY only offering a minor league deal, it didn't look like the infielder would be wearing Yankee pinstripes in 2014:

CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman listed the Yankees this afternoon as one of the teams that have expressed interest in Reynolds this winter:

You'll notice he also listed the Nationals as a team with interest. As the Washington Post's Adam Kilgore noted this afternoon in mentioning him as a potential bench addition, Reynolds, "...was a Mike Rizzo draft choice in Arizona in 2004," and, "...was also Ryan Zimmerman’s college teammate," so he has some connections in the nation's capital.

As the WaPost reporter noted, however, the Nationals have several right-handed bats on the bench in Tyler Moore and Scott Hairston, so a left-handed bat might be more of a need. Reynolds could back up both Zimmerman at third and Adam LaRoche at first. Rizzo told reporters this winter that he thought Danny Espinosa could play third if necessary this Spring, or Anthony Rendon could shift over to his natural position if Zimmerman was to miss any games this season... Does Reynolds make sense for the Nationals?

BTW: With the recent signings of Jamey Carroll and Mike Fontenot, who are expected to compete with Danny Espinosa for the utility role this Spring and the continued talk about the Nationals adding another bat on the bench, WaPost columnist Thomas Boswell was asked during his chat today if the moves could be read as a sign that the Nats are still considering dealing Espinosa:

"That would certainly be a traditional interpretation.

"But they value him as highly as you can value a guy who had an OPS+ of 28 last year -- 72 percent below the offensive contribution of an average player."

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