The Cleveland Indians have signed free-agent corner infielder Mark Reynolds to a one-year, $6 million contract, reports Britt Ghiroli of MLB.com:
Reynolds has signed with Cleveland. One year deal. First reported by @jonheymancbs— Brittany Ghiroli (@Britt_Ghiroli) December 10, 2012
The deal includes performance bonuses that could push the deal to $7.5 million total if Reynolds reaches certain landmarks.
Reynolds has spent most of his career at the hot corner, but the Indians already have Lonnie Chisenhall penciled in as their starting third baseman for next season, so Reynolds is likely to see a majority of his playing time at first base and designated hitter. The Indians likely hope that 29-year-old will regain the power stroke that saw him average 35 home runs from 2008–2011.
Reynolds had a bit of a down year offensively for the Orioles in 2012 – hitting .221/.335/.429 with 23 home runs – leading Baltimore to not only reject his $11 million option for next season, but also to decline to tender him a contract at all, making the righty slugger a free agent.
Cleveland’s signing of Reynolds will have a ripple effect on the rest of the third base market. His signing likely means that the club’s standing two-year, $18 million contract offer to Kevin Youkilis is off the table, which could push the 33-year-old to sign a one-year deal with the Yankees.