December 06, 2010
My how time flies when a franchise is getting transformed by a new GM.
Indeed, it was only last March that I was part of a scrum surrounding Mark Reynolds(notes) as he offered his happy thoughts on the new three-year, $14.5 million contract he had just signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks. With Justin Upton(notes) and Dan Haren(notes) in the fold, it looked as if the D'Backs had the core they were going to build around for the foreseeable future.
But then GM Josh Byrnes was fired, Dan Haren was traded to the Angels, Kevin Towers was hired as the permanent GM and Reynolds helped the D'Backs set an all-time record for most strikeouts by one team in a season. Towers made the declaration that all those Ks wouldn't be tolerated and, like that, Reynolds was shipped to the Baltimore Orioles for relievers David Hernandez(notes) and Kam Mickolio(notes) on Monday morning. Upton now stands alone in the desert, though who knows for how long.
Though Reynolds will head east after the first season by a qualified player of more Ks (211) than BA (.198), it's a risk the Orioles had to take. They've struggled to attract any free agents this offseason with their standing at the bottom of the AL East and Reynolds will bring the sort of over-the-wall power that only Luke Scott(notes) could provide last season. He hit 44 and 32 homers the last two seasons and he'll definitely need to record a number between those two — as well as avoid setting the single-season strikeout record again —to make himself a winning import for the O's.