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August 13, 2013

Transaction Analysis

Mark Reynolds Wanders On

by R.J. Anderson

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IN THIS ISSUE

American League
National League

CLEVELAND INDIANS
Team Audit | Player Cards | Depth Chart
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Released 1B/3B/DH-R Mark Reynolds. [8/12]

Reynolds hit .301/.368/.651 in April with eight home runs. He's hit .187/.287/.282 with five home runs since—and the most recent long ball came in June, a bad sign for a player whose chief marketable skill is his elite thump. The Indians invariably noticed Reynolds was closing in on 400 plate appearances and decided to cut their losses ahead of time. Why 400 plate appearances? Because Reynolds would have received a cool $0.25 million for hitting that threshold. Instead he'll hit the open market, where he's going to get another job, then another one a few months later. Just don't expect him to make $6 million again anytime soon.

KANSAS CITY ROYALS
Team Audit | Player Cards | Depth Chart
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Acquired INF-R Jamey Carroll from the Twins for a player to be named later or cash. [8/11]

Last week Carroll pitched a perfect inning in a blowout against the Royals. A few days later, the Royals acquired the 39-year-old for the stretch run—and who can blame them, good middle relief is tough to find. Carroll is as small as ever, incapable of hitting for pop or average, and without the arm to play great defense on the left side of the infield. Yet he knows the craft, can replace Miguel Tejada as the designated warm veteran body on the roster, and here's the scary part: he might be best offensive second baseman on the roster.

TAMPA BAY RAYS
Team Audit | Player Cards | Depth Chart
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Acquired LHP Wesley Wright from the Astros for cash considerations. [8/12]

Wright is the second reliever the Rays have added in the past few weeks, joining Jesse Crain. Crain, who remains on the disabled list, has not pitched for the club yet. Contrariwise, Wright should get into a game sometime over the next day or two. The veteran southpaw's multi-year platoon splits form a good argument against using him versus right-handed batters—even if he's been better against them this season than lefties. Houston had no reason to micromanage Wright's outings, but Joe Maddon does, so expect workloads in line with what one expects from a LOOGY. The Rays optioned Josh Lueke to the minors to make room for Wright on the 25-man roster.

PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES
Team Audit | Player Cards | Depth Chart
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Released OF/1B-L Laynce Nix. [8/12]

The Phillies signed Nix to a two-year deal, worth almost $2.5 million, prior to the 2012 season. He was fine in 2012, posting a .272 True Average while seeing time in the outfield corners and first base. But the second year—the dreaded, if cheap second year—proved the tacit understanding between Nix's power and his employment; namely, when the power went, so would his job. The pop has been gone all season, and all that's been left is a large amount of strikeouts and infield flies. Teams will tolerate those annoyances for the occasional big fly, but not when the ball stops clearing the fence—or, in this case, the infield. Perhaps Nix, soon 33, gets another chance somewhere. He'll probably need to serve some time in Triple-A first.

R.J. Anderson is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see R.J.'s other articles. You can contact R.J. by clicking here

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