BALTIMORE -- The Orioles and Mark Reynolds have had no negotiations regarding the first baseman's 2013 contract according to a baseball source, further questioning whether Reynolds will remain in the organization with Friday's non-tender deadline looming.
Reynolds had his $11 million option declined earlier this offseason, and while it was widely thought Baltimore would try to bring him back on a two-year agreement, the possibility of a multiyear deal -- or any serious talks regarding bringing Reynolds back -- haven't been explored as of Tuesday night. Reynolds made $7.5 million last season, recovering from a poor first half to post a .221/.335/.429 line, with 23 homers and 69 RBIs in 135 games. It's believed he would accept a one-year deal around that sum to return to Baltimore.
With a thin free-agent class of first basemen, Reynolds wouldn't accept a paycut from last season, and the Orioles aren't expected to offer him arbitration, which could cost them around $9 million. That means, should the two sides not reach an agreement by Friday, the expectation is Reynolds would be non-tendered and become a free agent.
While communication has been sparse between the two sides, executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette didn't rule out the possibility of retaining Reynolds when reached by phone Tuesday night.
"We could explore a deal between now and the tender date," Duquette said. "We've had some conversations with him and his agent. Some continuous discussions."
Whether those conversations will pick up steam and morph into something more serious doesn't look promising, with the last substantial contact between the two sides coming about two weeks ago. If the O's allow Reynolds to become a free agent, it would be hard to imagine a scenario where he would re-sign with Baltimore, although it's not impossible. Reynolds has an offseason home in Arizona, and could make a return to the National League or another organization with Spring Training facilities out west.